When 87 year old Leona Helmsley died in New York she was living alone in a lavish apartment with only her dog. She left an estate of some $4 Billion dollars.When the will was read it told the story of her relationships with people during her life. Before her only son died, she had a falling out with her daughter in law Mimi Panzirer and with two of her four grandchildren from that marriage. The feud with Panzirer was serious enough that when her son died she had her daughter in law evicted from the Helmsley owned house they were living in. While the two grandchildren she got along with were left $5 Million each, according to her will they got the money only if they visited their father’s grave once a year and she required them to sign the guest register there to prove their visit. Her other two grandchildren were left nothing. She did leave $100,000 to her Chauffeur, but she left a lot more for a perpetual care fund to be used to maintain the "five star" mausoleum in which she and her late husband Harry are buried – $3 Million dollars. The structure, assessed at over $1.5 Million dollars is located on five acres of secluded land. She directed that the edifice be "washed or steam cleaned at least once a year." While she left her brother Alvin Rosenthal $10 million dollars she left more to her dog. Leona gave the largest individual bequest to her eight year old dog named Trouble – $12 Million dollars. Her brother was left in charge of he dog in the will. The Maltese had been treated better then anyone else in Leona’s life while she was alive and now was to receive the largest amount she left to anyone in her will. She even directed that when the dog died it was to be buried with she and Harry in the mausoleum. The rest of the estate she left to her charitable trust.
It should be acknowledged that during her life she had given $25 Million to New York’s Presbyterian Hospital, donated $5 Million to Katrina victims, $5 Million to help families from the 9-11 disaster and had spent considerable sums helping to rebuild black churches in the South. In spite of this, her will tells her life story best. Scripture says it well, at least about some lives: "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God