Passing It On To Pets: Fat Cats & Lucky Dogs -0 Book Review by Michael Rappaport in The Lawyer's Weekly


Professor of Law Gerry Beyer and I wrote about Leona Helmsley, the billionaire hotel heiress nick-named “the Queen of Mean” by the media, who died at age 87 in August 2007, and the inheritance she left her beloved pet dog Trouble and Trouble’s legal travails in our book, Fat Cats & Lucky Dogs: How To Leave (Some Of) Your Estate To Your Pet., to highlight the difficulties faced by testators when they try to provide for their pets’ feeding and care after they die.

We hope that you would agree with us that when someone brings home a pet, they are making a lifetime commitment. Pets humanize us and remind us of our obligations and responsibilities to each other. Planning in advance for ones pet’s (and family’s) well being, if a caregiver becomes incapacitated or they predecease them, is necessary.

Unfortunately, every caregiver has a chance of not being able to look after their pets at some point. It is also a sad fact of life that in these cases their pets have to be re-homed or worse. There may be the need to attempt to employ strategies to find homes for hard-to-place dogs, cats and other pets – which include elderly, blind, deaf, disfigured, shy cats, dogs or other pets – that require in-home medical or behavioral care.

We think that encouraging this planning focus for pet lovers (and other animal lovers) could also help to contribute to a reduction in orphaned and euthanized pets.

Notwithstanding its title, our book is serious and contains information covering a multitude of valuable topics. Our book’s cover claims it contains “everything you need to know to protect your pet if you become sick or die.” Michael Rappaport states in one book review that "This is no idle boast. The book even devotes a chapter to providing for the future care of exotic and illegal pets”.

Our intention was that our book ‘Fat Cats and Lucky Dogs’ be a vehicle for sharing planning information and ideas; for providing guidance to those who would like to explore various planning possibilities; and for stimulating caregivers to take action for their pets and families while they are able to do so.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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