(CN) – The judge overseeing Leona Helmsley’s probate case ruled that despite the late hotelier’s wishes, the billions of dollars she left to her charitable trust do not all have to spent on dogs. Surrogate Court Judge Troy Webber said the trustees may distribute the money as they think best.
“The court finds that the trustees may apply trust funds for such charitable purposes and in such amounts as they may, in their sole discretion, determine,” Judge Webber wrote. The New York Times reported on the ruling today.
The trustees – including Helmsley’s brother, two of her grandsons and her attorney – asked that the court not limit the money to dogs, and the New York attorney general backed them up.
The ruling will not affect Helmsley’s Maltese, Trouble, who reportedly received death threats after Helmsley’s will became public, necessitating the hiring of a security detail for it.