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Dogs miss out on most of Helmsley’s millions

Trustees of real estate baroness Leona Helmsley’s estate say they’re giving $136 million to charity — and only $1 million of that is going to the dogs.

Animal rights groups rejoiced last year at reports that Helmsley, who died in 2007 at age 87, wanted her entire multibillion-dollar fortune to go to dog-related charities

But a court ruled in February that the trustees had authority to decide which charities could receive funds. Apparently dogs — and Helmsley’s wishes — rated pretty low in the decision-making process. The judge’s decision did not affect the $12 million Helmsley bequeathed to her Maltese, Trouble.

Helmsley’s estate yesterday announced its first round of charitable grants. The largest, $40 million, went to New York’s Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Most of the money went to health care systems across the country, Newsday reported today.

Helmsley’s estate distributed $1 million to 10 animal rights groups, including $100,000 to the ASPCA.


Comment from Eighteenpaws
Time April 21, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Total crap! Forget that Leona was supposedly fairly wicked throughout her life, at least when it came to her employees. The bottom line is that frankly, she erected and ran some pretty great hotels (which I used to personally frequent) for several decades and made a ton of money. Can we please grant this woman the right to bequest her money where she wanted it to go after her death? Who in the world has the ability to override such a decision? Whatever dollars exist after I die will likewise be passed to the ongoing pleasant longevity of my pets at that time and to my favorite animal-loving non-profits. That is what my will states. I swear that I will HAUNT FOREVER those who try to usurp my decisions. I hope that Leona will do that same. Grrrrr!