When it was disclosed that Leona Helmsley had made her pet Maltese Trouble her biggest heir, leaving a $12 million trust fund for her pet, Forbes.com researched the spending habits of the very rich and their pets.
According to Russ Alan Prince, of Prince & Associates, who tracks the habits of the rich, wealthy people who love to lavish money on their pets spend $328,000 on their pets annually.
"Life enrichment" services for pets is the biggest spending category and includes stuff like deep-muscle massage, psychic readings, life coaching and "cosmic sensitivity," a sort of astrology. More than one-third of pet-obsessed owners spend in this category.
Special diets and meals prepared by celebrity chefs are also popular.
More than one quarter pet-focused owners spend more than $25,000 on their beloved pet's wardrobe.
If you thought child birthday parties were getting out of hand, imagine what it would be like to attend a $25,000 party for a pet. Sixteen percent of pet-focused owners in a recent survey are guilty of this.
More than 12% of pet-obsessed people send their lovies to a psychologist.
Six percent of pets fly around in private aircraft unescorted except for the flight crew, mostly being transported to their owner's vacation spot after their owner missed them too much.
57% of pet-focused owners had formal arrangements in place in the event they died before their pets, and 27% of them had a trust set up for their pet, to the tune of $526,000. Ninety percent of those trust arrangements distribute remaining funds to family once the pet dies.
Pet trusts aren't as crazy as they sound. Thirty-nine states, including New York, allow them, but restrict their durations. In N.Y., the term is 21 years.