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Helmsley's billions--not millions--may go to the dogs

July 1, 2008 |  6:11 pm

Leona_helmsleyThe late hotel and real estate magnate Leona Helmsley keeps making headlines even nearly a year after her death because of the $12 million trust fund she left for her dog named Trouble (though a judge last month reduced that to a mere $2 million).

But Trouble may not have gotten such a big piece of the pie after all. The New York Times is reporting that Helmsley's entire charitable trust may fund other dogs:

Her instructions, specified in a two-page “mission statement,” are that the entire trust, valued at $5 billion to $8 billion and amounting to virtually all her estate, be used for the care and welfare of dogs, according to two people who have seen the document and who described it on condition of anonymity.

The NYT is quick to caution that the document is not necessarily legally binding. And besides, the paper was employing anonymous sources, which in this blog's conjecture, could be a first for dog inheritance reporting.

--Tony Barboza

Photo: Jennifer Graylock/AP

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