When Leona Helmsley died, she left $12 million in her will allocated to the care of her beloved Maltese lapdog, Trouble. In 2008, after some of Helmsley’s heirs protested, a judge reduced Trouble’s inheritance to a mere $2 million, saying that $12 million exceeded the amount necessary to care for the dog, even when providing her with the highest standard of care.
Helmsley also specified in her will that Trouble ‘s remains were to be buried alongside her own in the family mausoleum which is located in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Westchester County, New York. That request has not been honored and Troubles ashes remain “privately retained.”
Regulations prohibit the interring of nonhuman remains at a human cemetery. However, the Helmsley mausoleum itself is considered private property (even though it is located on the cemetery grounds) and its key is retained by the Helmsley family.
Should the family will skirt the law and bury Trouble’s ashes alongside those of Leona Helmsley? What would you do?