An elderly woman in China has decided to leave her multi-million-dollar fortune to her pets instead of her children after they failed to visit or care for her when she was sick.
The Shanghai woman, known by her last Liu, drafted a will several years ago in which she left her $A4.3 million fortune to her three children, according to the South China Morning Post, which cited Zonglan News.
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However as the children rarely contacted her, and failed to visit or look after her when she was sick, she changed her will — leaving her fortune to her cats and dogs.
She has now chosen a local vet to be the will administrator and look after her animals when she dies.
Leaving an entire inheritance to animals is illegal in China, according to Chen Kai, an official from the China’s Will Registration Centre headquarters.
“Liu’s current will is one way, and we would have advised her to appoint a person she trusts to supervise the vet clinic to ensure the pets are properly cared for,” he said as reported by the South China Morning Post.
Another official said they told the woman she could change her mind at a later date.
“We told Auntie Liu that if her children change their attitude towards her, she could always alter her will again,” added the official, from the eastern China branch of the Will Registration Centre.
According to law firm Maurice Blackburn, pets cannot be named as beneficiaries in Australian wills either — however people can set up trusts for their animals.
“The money in the trust can be used to pay for their care and day to day expenses in accordance with the wishes you leave,” the firm’s website said.