Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Is Trouble in trouble?

TroubleAs you may remember, Leona Helmsley left $12 million to an inter vivos trust which is reported to contain provisions for the benefit of her pet dog, Trouble.

According to CBSNews.com, Helmsley's Dog Getting Death Threats (Nov. 26, 2007):

It came as little surprise that there would be hostility towards the dog. But death and kidnapping threats seem a little extreme.

"I think the reaction was really quite bizarre," Helmsley's longtime friend John Codey told Early Show national correspondent Tracy Smith.

Codey is in charge of the pampered pooch and her trust fund. He said he was alarmed by the number of threats and estimates that Trouble received about 20 or 30.

"'I'm gonna kill the dog,'" he said people threatened. "'I'm gonna kidnap the dog. I need the $12 million.'" * * *

When you put it in perspective, the $12 million seems as tiny as the dog who received it. Perhaps Helmsley merely wanted to give something back to the dog who was truly her best friend. As soon as the dog dies, whatever is left of Trouble's inheritance goes back to the charitable trust.

"Trouble is very much alive and well taken care of," Codey said. "I can tell you that she's in this country and she's in a nice warm climate."

Special thanks to Jennifer Cocanougher (J.D. Candidate, Texas Tech University School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.


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