An elderly woman from Shanghai has decided to leave her $4.3 million fortune to her cats and dogs.

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According to The South China Morning Post, Ms Liu initially intended to divide the wealth among her three children but had a change of heart. They never visited her and barely maintained contact leaving her feeling alone and neglected. So she decided that her pets, who had been her only companions and source of solace, would inherit everything.

In her new will, Ms Liu insists that all of her money be used to care for her pets and any of their offspring. She appointed the local veterinary clinic as the trustee of her pet’s fortune. However, officials from the Will Registration Centre in Beijing cautioned against the risks of solely entrusting the clinic with her wealth.

They suggested appointing a trusted individual to oversee the funds and ensure her pets receive proper care. “We told Auntie Liu that if her children change their attitude towards her, she could always alter her will again,” the official said.

The story has sparked an online debates across China, with some sympathising with Ms Liu’s difficult decision. “How disappointed and heartbroken she must have been to make the decision not to leave anything to her children,” one user wrote.

This is not the first time a pet has received a generous inheritance. In 2020, a wealthy businessman in Tennessee left $7.6 million to his border collie. And in 2010, British fashion designer Alexander McQueen left $97,000 to his beloved dogs.