Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, April 6, 2012

Contrary to Will Instructions, Cat is Not Euthanized

Images-3Georgia Lee Dvorak died unmarried at the age of 76. Dvorak’s will instructed that any cats she owned be euthanized. One of the cats that she left behind was a healthy 11-year old black cat named Boots.

After the director of the personal trust read her will, they were not sure how those euthanasia instructions fit in with the general intent of her will. The will donated to numerous animal related charities – many of which were animal related. The bank and attorneys handling the will felt wrong about euthanizing a perfectly healthy cat and they were able to convince a Cook County judge to spare the cat’s life despite the express instructions in the will.

The prior owner of the cat abused Boots, so Dvorak’s neighbor speculates that Dvorak put those instructions in her will to prevent another abusive owner from adopting Boots. The neighbor also said that surely Dvorak would have wanted Boots to live in a happy home over being euthanized though. Boots will soon be moved to a no-kill shelter in Chicago, Cats-Are-Purrsons-Too.

See BJ Lutz and Jeff Goldblatt, Bank’s Curiosity Saves Cat From Euthanasia, msnbc.com, Apr. 4, 2012.

Special thanks to Margaret Ryznar (Associate, Cadwalader, Wickershan & Taft LLP) for brining this article to my attention. 


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