No dog’s life following $8bn bequest

Deceased hotelier Leona Helmsley, who bequeathed $12-million of her fortune to her pet dog, left the rest of her multibillion-dollar estate to animal welfare groups aiding man’s best friend, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.

Helmsley, who died in August at the age of 87, instructed her executors that virtually her entire trust, valued at up to $8-billion, should be used for the care and the welfare of dogs, according to two people familiar with the details of her will.

Helmsley married real-estate magnate Harry Helmsley in 1972, helping him build a company managing some of New York’s most prestigious addresses, including the Empire State Building, as well as hotels across the country.

After his death, she served jail time for tax fraud in the early 1990s, and was tagged as the “Queen of Mean” for her mean-spirited treatment of her hotel staff.

Helmsley had left the largest bequest in her will, about $12-million, to “Trouble”, her beloved white Maltese, but a judge last month ruled that she was mentally incompetent when she made out the will, and gave $10-million of the bequest to charity and to two Helmsley grandchildren, according to media reports. — AFP

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