A real estate and hotel mogul made headlines in 2007 when it was discovered that she had left $12 million to her Maltese dog, Trouble. The dog recently died in a Florida retirement retreat at the age of 12. The remainder of its inheritance will be transferred to the woman's charitable trust.

According to reports, the woman included the dog in her will but cut out her two of her existing heirs - both her grandchildren. A judge later found the initial inheritance terms of $12 million to be excessive, reducing it to $2 million after the dog's caretaker explained that $100,000 each year would be enough to care for the dog. This included $1,200 for food and $8,000 for grooming. The rest was taken as compensation by the caretaker and paid for a full-time security guard after the dog received more than 20 kidnapping and death threats.

The woman's final request to have her dog buried next to her was denied. An administrator at her cemetery explained that pets cannot be buried in a cemetery for humans nor can they be laid to rest in a mausoleum.

Determining the terms of a will can be a complex process. Many people create a will to ensure that, in the event of their death, their possessions are distributed among heirs as they wish. When you decide you are ready to create a will, seeking experienced legal advice may be beneficial in ensuring that every detail of your will is covered. No matter what age you are or what your life situation is, creating a will may be a smart decision to make sure your wishes are met.

Source: IOL News, "Millionaire dog dies," 10 June 2011