Today’s New York Times reports that the late Leona Helmsley has left a mission statement in connection with a testamentary trust valued as high as eight billion dollars. In it, she directs that virtually the entire fund be applied to the welfare of dogs. While Surrogate Renee R. Roth has already shown a willingness to modify the provisions of Ms. Helmsley’s will to reduce the original twelve million dollar bequest to her dog to two million (!) dollars, the aim of New York law is to determine the true intent of the decedent and to follow his or her wishes as closely as possible. While it is understandable that a court might rail at the idea of leaving twelve million dollars to a single pooch, the trust’s mission statement obviously has a broader intent in mind than the care and feeding of one animal. Since their are numerous organizations dedicated to animal welfare and the advancement of veterinary science, it may very well be that the entire trust will ultimately be applied for the benefit of our nation’s canines –just as the late hotel magnate had obviously wanted.