As Rivers' goddaughter Tracie Hotchner told the Daily Mail, "She loved her dogs dearly, and they meant so much to her ... dogs have become accepted as such essential family members that providing for them well in life, and after death, is considered quite normal."
The Joan Rivers estate is estimated to be worth approximately $150 million. The public does not know for certain how much the estate is worth as Rivers used a trust which keeps the details of her estate plan private. It is known that most of the estate will go to her daughter, Melissa Rivers, and her grandson, Cooper. In fact, Joan Rivers said this would be the case while she was still alive.
In an article titled "What Joan Rivers Just Taught Pet Lovers About Estate Planning," Daily Finance reveals an aspect of the Rivers estate that is less well known. Joan Rivers had four dogs she loved and regarded as part of her family. She made provisions in her estate plan for the care of her dogs even though their owner has passed away.
You do not have to be rich or famous to provide for your pets after you pass away. Pet trusts are a relatively simple way of setting aside money for your pets and for providing a suitable care taker for them. They do not require massive wealth to set up and are valid in every state. If you want to make certain your pets will be okay after you pass away, then seek the counsel of an experienced estate planning attorney to learn more.
Reference: Daily Finance (September 11, 2014) "What Joan Rivers Just Taught Pet Lovers About Estate Planning"