Every dog has its day, as the saying goes. Well, Oprah Winfrey pooches will have a bankroll when she passes.
She reportedly plans to leave her canine friends a total of $30 million when she dies.
Pet inheritance and pet net worth are two of the many unique privileges that the rich and famous can afford. When Betty White died in 2021, her golden retriever, Pontiac, came into $5 million.
Oprah, estimated to be worth $2.5 billion, is no exception to being a celebrity animal lover, and she has apparently made that if anything were to happen to her that her pets will get $30 million.
“Oprah has a menagerie of animals and she wants them to be pampered for the rest of their lives if she were to die first,” a source told Australia’s Woman’s Day magazine more than a decade ago in 2007, as per News 24. “She has four dogs, plus various other pets, so she rewrote her will to include millions for their care.”
It’s hard to pin down how many dogs the former queen of daytime TV has, since the initial report about Winfrey’s will was some time ago. But the news resurfaced earlier this year.
While sources such as Pure Wow report Oprah has three dogs, Cats.com in its list of rich pets states that Oprah has two additional pets included on the $30 million inheritance, making a total of five pets. Oprah.com featured a spread of Winfrey playing with and walking five dogs.
The blog Oprah Daily said that the billionaire has two springer spaniels, Sunny and Lauren, and a cocker spaniel, Sadie. The golden retrievers Layal and Luke passed away. Cocker spaniel Sophie also passed away. Another cocker spaniel Solomon, a Christmas gift from Winfrey’s longtime partner Stedman Graham also appears to have passed away at the age of 14.
Oprah and her pets live at her home in Montecito, Calif., which Oprah calls “the promised land,” and her blog notes that she has no plans to adopt another pet anytime soon.
Over the course of her adult life, Oprah, has owned 20 dogs.
Pets and Estate Planning
More and more Americans are including their pets in their estate planning. The ASPCA reports that all 50 states plus the District of Columbia have a pet trust law.
“Pet trusts aren’t just for the wealthy,” Frances Carlisle, a trust and estates attorney in New York, told The Wall Street Journal in 2014. For most pet owners, she noted, the goal “is to make sure a plan exists for the care of the animal.”
While money can not be bequeathed directly to pets, as state laws consider animals property, pet owners can leave money to a designated caretaker. However, it is not legally binding that the person keep the pet or even that they spend the money on the pet. But a pet trust, explained Carlisle, is administered by a trustee, who is appointed by the pet owner and is legally obligated to act in the animal’s best interest. The trustee must carry out the owner’s wishes, explains Ms. Carlisle. The trustee, who can also be the caretaker, pays the bills incurred for the pet’s care.
If there is a separate caretaker for the pet, the trustee would provide money to the caretaker. The trustee has the legal right to supervise the caretaker and make sure the money is being used as intended, Mental Floss reported.
It is unclear if Winfrey has a pet trust, or has designated a caretaker, but one way or the other, we’re sure the pets will be more than pampered.