Helmsley left her beloved white Maltese, named Trouble, a $12 million trust fund, according to her will, which was made public Tuesday in surrogate court.It's not so bad that the dog got so much money. That's soft-headed flakiness that you could find a way to accept. But dividing four siblings into the two that win and the two that lose -- that, on top of the filthily rich and tauntingly named dog, is a design for discord. It's a flashy display of the love of trouble/Trouble.
She also left millions for her brother, Alvin Rosenthal, who was named to care for Trouble in her absence, as well as two of four grandchildren from her late son Jay Panzirer -- so long as they visit their father's grave site once each calendar year.
Otherwise, she wrote, neither will get a penny of the $5 million she left for each.
Helmsley left nothing to two of Jay Panzirer's other children -- Craig and Meegan Panzirer -- for ''reasons that are known to them,'' she wrote.
Do Craig and Meegan really know the reasons? Or must they agonize for the rest of their lives about what the reasons are? If I were Craig/Meegan the very word "reasons" would torment me for the rest of my life. Reasons? Reasons?! Within a week, "reason" would equate with arbitrariness in my mind. Within the year, I would hate reason and turn to chaos for relief.
And what of the other two siblings? Will they give some of their take to Craig and Meegan? Or will they push them away with those supposedly well-known reasons? Reasons! You know the reasons. And all Craig and Meegan have is the grim insistence that the other two visit the father's grave or all is lost. Will Craig and Meegan visit the grave? Or will poor, entombed Dad only receive visits -- only once a year -- from the two children his mother saw fit to favor -- whose motive for the visit will never disaggregate from the desire to hang onto the money.