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Judge OKs ‘Modest’ $900K Fee for Each of 5 Lawyers Overseeing Estate of Hotel Heiress Leona Helmsley

Posted Sep 5, 2012 4:40 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Five lawyers acting as executors for the estate of deceased New York hotel heiress Leona Helmsley will each be paid $900,000 for their first year of work.

Manhattan Surrogate Court Judge Nora Anderson, who approved the fees, called them “modest when viewed against the backdrop of the mammoth and highly complex estate for which these fiduciaries are responsible and the risk of enormous personal liability they incur,” the New York Daily News reports.

The estate has more than $5 billion in assets and brings in about $100 million in income annually, according to the newspaper.

Anderson approved the fees over the objection of the state attorney general's office, which oversees the interests of charities that inherit a portion of Helmsley's estate. It sought a reduction of more than half in the amount paid to the five attorneys.

Earlier, Helmsley's estate plan made headlines concerning her $2 million bequest on behalf of her Maltese dog Trouble, who has since died, and a potentially extremely large, but undetermined, amount of money that was to be used to benefit stray canines throughout the country.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Dealmeister’s Daughter Leaves $8.3M Mansion to the Dogs; Lawyer Named in Resulting Will Contest"

ABAJournal.com: "Legal Reform Needed So Pampered Pets of the Well-to-Do Inherit as Planned, Law Profs Say"

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