Weird Wills - The Queen of Mean

Weird Wills - The Queen of Mean

Weird Wills – The Queen of Mean

by | Weird Wills

Hotelier and real estate tycoon Leona Helmsley was known as ‘The Queen of Mean’ in the 1980’s.  She died in August 20th 2007 aged 87 after a truly colourful life.  Worth billions at the time of her death, who inherited her vast estate?

Helmsley’s star rose when she was appointed as the president of the Helmsley hotels by her billionaire husband in 1980.  Considered the face of New York society in the decade, her glamour and reputation quickly faded.  Known for cruelty to her staff and disdain for “little people”, a disgruntled employee talked to the press bringing the authorities to her door.

In a very public downfall, she was found guilty of tax evasion and forced to serve 18 months in jail.  During her trial a housekeeper revealed Helmsley boasted “we don’t pay taxes,” “only the little people pay taxes.”  She was convicted of evading $1.2 million in federal income taxes.  The authorities fined her $7.1 million for tax fraud and levied a $1.7 million bill for back federal and state taxes.

There was someone who loved her though.  Her Maltese dog Trouble.  And it was Trouble who profited from her death.

When she died in 2004, she lived up to her ‘Queen of Mean’ title.  She disinherited some of her grandchildren.  Other grandchildren were ordered to visit their father’s grave annually to receive USD $5million each.  But lucky Trouble was gifted a trust for his care of USD $12 million from the USD $4.2 billion estate. The trust was reduced to USD $2 million after a court appeal but 9 year old Trouble had to see out his days in hiding after receiving death threats and kidnapping attempts.   Helmsley also made a large charitable donation to be used to care for dogs.

 

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Testimonials

"For various reasons, my situation turned out to be quite complicated and I needed two wills (as advised by UK...

Jenny Pearson, Consultant, Cambodia

2018-06-05T07:59:04+00:00

Jenny Pearson, Consultant, Cambodia

"For various reasons, my situation turned out to be quite complicated and I needed two wills (as advised by UK tax specialist) to keep my English and Cambodian assets completely separate. Cindy was able to work through all of that with me and I am confident that I now have everything properly covered."
"Cindy is knowledgeable, approachable, incredibly helpful, and highly professional. She helped me to understand the implications of my requests and...

Jayne Hilton, Engineer, UK

2018-06-05T08:30:28+00:00

Jayne Hilton, Engineer, UK

"Cindy is knowledgeable, approachable, incredibly helpful, and highly professional. She helped me to understand the implications of my requests and was always on hand to offer guidance and support. All in all an excellent service."
"It was a pleasure to work with Cindy and her team! Even though planning for one’s own death is a...

Jim Swander, CEO, Cambodia

2018-06-05T08:37:50+00:00

Jim Swander, CEO, Cambodia

"It was a pleasure to work with Cindy and her team! Even though planning for one’s own death is a project we all can easily put off, it removed an area of stress in my life. I no longer had to wonder if certain people would be taken care of, or where my money would go. Cindy and I worked through the process and she asked a lot of thought provoking questions. The first draft helped me think a second layer down, and made the will more complete. We finalised with her lawyer, signed, witnessed and put away in a safe place, letting my executor know exactly where to find it. I do not hesitate to recommend Cindy’s services."
"Cindy made the process of making a Will painless and efficient which we really appreciated. She was sensitive to avoid...

Moray Iles, Vietnam

2018-06-05T08:42:23+00:00

Moray Iles, Vietnam

"Cindy made the process of making a Will painless and efficient which we really appreciated. She was sensitive to avoid putting pressure or hassle to complete the Will quickly which allowed us to consider everything in our own time. Best of all, Cindy's professional support and thorough and clear explanation of the laws pertaining to our situation were very helpful. We would look forward to working with Cindy again on documents personal to our family."
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