While the idea of Choupette Lagerfeld lounging around in a bed stuffed with euros left to her by Daddy Karl makes me happier than I can bear, it will probably remain nothing but a fantasy. Bloomberg Law explains that the French and possibly German and American governments will heavily tax whatever the late Chanel designer left her. Also, there’s the issue of her being a cat.
An actual tax attorney told Bloomberg, “The money never belongs to the cat. Inheriting is nonsense.” Alrighty then! Lagerfeld has said in numerous interviews that he planned on leaving part of his $200 million estate to his beloved Choupette, whom he once described as an “insupportable coquette.”
But when a celebrity says they’re leaving money to their pet, it often just means they’re setting up a way for the pet to be looked after, either through a human caretaker who actually inherited the money or through a trust. Lagerfeld is far from the first celebrity to face this conundrum. Fellow designer Alexander McQueen left 50,000 pounds to his three dogs (well, to the caretakers of the three dogs).
Regardless of the method Lagerfeld chose, the nation of France will get most of Choupette’s inheritance. France has a high tax rate on funds for pets and estate taxes in general that could leave poor Choupette with just 40 percent of whatever Lagerfeld left her. But there’s still money in influencing, Chou Chou!