Gail Posner was a member of one of Miami Beach's richest and most notorious families, but she died quietly in March without so much as an obit in the Herald and with most of her family refusing to comment. Now a legal battle is brewing surrounding her will that has led the Wall Street Journal to commission perhaps one of the oddest of its famed stipple portraits in the paper's history: that of a chihuahua in a bejeweled collar and a wig.
In her later life Posner had gone on something of a bizarre press rampage promoting her beloved pet chihuahua, Conchita, as the most spoiled dog in the world.
"We actually have made the decision not to get [Conchita] the Range Rover. Instead, I got a new car and gave her the Escalade. She, along with her two sisters, gets driven in it to and from their weekly puppy spa appointment, where they get manis and pedis. The Escalade is gold," Posner said in an interview last year with New Times Broward-Palm Beach.
Now Conchita and her "sisters" will be able to afford all the Range Rovers a rover could ever want. Posner left them a $3 million trust-fund and the right to continue living in her $8.3 million Miami Beach mansion.
Her only son, Brett Carr, only got $1 million and is disputing the will in court.
The case of Carr v. Conchita will not be headed to court; instead Carr is suing the personal aides who Posner surrounded herself with later in life that he believes took advantage of his sick mother and drastically changed her will.
Combined, the aides, including body guards and housekeepers, were left $26 million and one was given the right to live in the mansion to care for the dogs.
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Household aides, he claims, drugged his sick mother with pain medications and conspired to steal her assets by inducing her to change her will and trust arrangements in 2008. Others, including his mother's trust attorney, he alleges, used their influence to bend her wishes. Mr. Carr, who was bequeathed a relatively paltry $1 million in his mother's will, makes the claims in a lawsuit filed last week in probate court in Miami-Dade County.
Among Mr. Carr's claims is that the aides directed a "deeply disturbed" Ms. Posner to hire a publicist to promote Conchita as "one of the world's most spoiled dogs"--complete with a four-season wardrobe, full-time staff and diamond jewelry. Mr. Carr's lawyer, Bruce Katzen, says he believes the publicity campaign was part of a "ruse" to explain why a large trust fund was needed to care for the dogs.
Disputes over inheritance are nothing new for the Posner clan. Gail and her twin brother Stephen sued the estate of their own father, Victor Posner, the notorious businessman who is considered the father of the leverage buy out, after much of the money was left to a former girlfriend and business associate.