Karl Lagerfeld allegedly left millions to cat

Published 27 Feb 2019

Late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld is rumoured to have left his fortune to his pet cat.

The feline heiress

Famous for transforming fashion house Chanel into one of the most luxurious brands in the world, Lagerfeld was estimated to have left a fortune of over US $200 million after his passing at age 85. With no children and only one godson, the iconic designer is assumed to have left the majority of his fortune to his beloved cat Choupette, who he referred to as an heiress.

Choupette Lagerfeld – a seven-year-old Burmese – was well and truly the apple of Karl’s eye, and served as the inspiration behind many of his recent designs. The cat, who in some circles has been touted as the only beneficiary of Lagerfeld’s enormous estate, is to be taken care of in the lifestyle she has become accustomed to. This includes travelling on private jets, and indulging in caviar served to her on a silver dish by one of her three maids. Choupette, a celebrity in her own right, has almost 300k followers on Instagram, and is rumoured to have earned more than $3 million from modelling work.

This isn’t the first time a fashion figurehead has left a substantial amount of money to their pet – after Alexander McQueen died in 2010, his numerous animals were rumoured to have inherited a decent portion of his multimillion dollar fortune.

The legalities of the arrangement may prove difficult for those handling the Lagerfeld estate, as it is illegal in France for pets to benefit from an owner’s Will. It is likely that Lagerfeld would have set up a trust fund for the care of Choupette, or used his German citizenship to settle the estate.

I don’t agree with the contents of my loved one’s Will – can I dispute it?

Depending on your relationship with the deceased, you may be able to contest their Will. In NSW, you need to meet a certain criteria to make a claim under the Family Provisions Act 1982 (NSW), which can be outlined as the following:

  • Being a husband, wife, de-facto partner, child, or grandchild of the deceased at the time of their passing.
  • A former wife or husband of the deceased.
  • If you have had dependency on the deceased for any period in your life, either partially or entirely.
  • Having lived with the deceased person at any point in their life.

If you meet this criteria, chances are you may be able to make a claim for the estate under Moral Obligation, where it is assumed that the deceased would have a duty to provide for your advancement in life.

For assistance in contesting an estate, get in touch with the experts at Gerard Malouf & Partners Will Disputes Lawyers.

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