Helmsley dog gets $12 million
Real estate billionaire leaves nothing to two grandchildren.
From the Associated Press
8:05 AM PDT, August 29, 2007
Leona Helmsley's dog will continue to live an opulent life, and then be buried alongside her in a mausoleum. But two of Helmsley's grandchildren got nothing from the late luxury hotelier and real estate billionaire's estate.
Helmsley left her beloved white Maltese, named Trouble, a $12 million trust fund, according to her will, which was made public Tuesday in surrogate court.
She also left millions for her brother, Alvin Rosenthal, who was named to care for Trouble in her absence, as well as two of four grandchildren from her late son Jay Panzirer -- so long as they visit their father's grave site once each calendar year.
Otherwise, she wrote, neither will get a penny of the $5 million she left for each.
Helmsley left nothing to two of Jay Panzirer's other children -- Craig and Meegan Panzirer -- for "reasons that are known to them," she wrote.
But no one made out better than Trouble, who once appeared in ads for the Helmsley Hotels, and lived up to her name by biting a housekeeper.
"I direct that when my dog, Trouble, dies, her remains shall be buried next to my remains in the Helmsley mausoleum," Helmsley wrote in her will.
The mausoleum, she ordered, must be "washed or steam-cleaned at least once a year." She left behind $3 million for the upkeep of her final resting place in Westchester County, where she is buried with her husband, Harry Helmsley.
She also left her chauffeur, Nicholas Celea, $100,000.
She ordered that cash from sales of the Helmsley's residences and belongings, reported to be worth billions, be sold and that the money be given to the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.
Her longtime spokesman, Howard Rubenstein, had no comment.
Helmsley died earlier this month at her Connecticut home. She became known as a symbol of 1980s greed and earned the nickname "the Queen of Mean" after her 1988 indictment and subsequent conviction for tax evasion. One employee had quoted her as snarling, "Only the little people pay taxes."