Letting Sleeping Dogs Lie

Leona Helmsley’s wishes are going to the dogs. Two years before her death, the infamously wealthy hotelier and real estate mogul attempted to have the proceeds from her $5 billion charitable trust primarily go to “purposes related to the provision of care for dogs.”

Her grandchildren have asserted that Helmsley was not mentally competent when she signed her will; a judge ruled in February that trustees could give the money as they saw fit. These facts were a factor in the doggie disbursements being lowered to a mere $1 million split among 10 charities, including some that train seeing-eye dogs, dogs for the deaf, and another that trains inmates to raise puppies to become bomb-sniffers. The remaining funds have been awarded to a variety of other charities.

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