Latest trend: after-life pet care - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Latest trend: after-life pet care

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PHOENIX -

We've heard of pets inheriting millions of dollars when their wealthy owners pass away, but you don't have to be rich and famous in order to make sure your dog or cat -- or even bird, will be taken care of when you're gone.

Leona Hemsley's story might be the most high profile.  The late New York hotel heiress left $12 million to her Maltese terrier, Trouble.

But there are more.

Miami Beach millionaire Gail Posner left millions to her three dogs, including little Conchita, her pet Chihuahua.  She left more to her dogs than her own son.

Other headlines include Texan Kenneth Bortz who left his valuables to his dog, Lucky and a Florida woman who left $13 million to her cat.

"It's the hot new trend to make sure your pet is planned for," said Laura Bianchi of the Rose Law Group.

Bianchi has included her dog, Corky in her will.  She recently began writing similar wills involving this type of pet planning for her clients.

"Make sure guardians set up and finances set up and make sure they're taken care of in the event they pass away before their pet," said Bianchi.

The average pet owner might leave anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 to pets and the appointed pet guardian.

LegalZoom.com, a web site offering legal services, just partnered with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  The web site offers a pet protection agreement designed for people's beloved pets.

Bianchi has a sense of relief knowing Corky will be cared for.

"We have guardians set up and something planned.  He will be taken care of because he's not spoiled at all," she said.

Pet lovers tend to spoil them.  We take our pets to pet spas, we buy them toys -- in fact, the American Pet Products Association predicts we will likely spend $52.87 million on our pets this year.

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