Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Trial In Huguette Clark Estate Dispute Is Set to Begin

Estate DisputeAs I have previously discussed, there are a number of controversies surrounding the estate of Huguette Clark. The major dispute here arose from the late heiress' will. Apparently, at the time of her death Clark owned two different wills with two different distribution schemes. In the first will, Clark provided a $5 million gift to the nurse that cared for her, and bequested the vast majority of her estate to remaining living relatives on her father's side. The will stated that the her estate should be given to her "intestate distributees," which means the relatives that would have inherited if Clark did not have a will.

The second will, which was written about 6 weeks following the drafting of the first will, explicitly disinherited a majority of the people that were set to receive an inheritance from the first will. The second will gives most of the money to establish a museum and provides a number of bequests to people who are a part of her life. These people included "her attorney, accountant, doctor, and others, and the remainder is split among the nurse, a goddaughter and the California foundation." 

At the beginning of the trial, her estate is said to be worth about $300 million, not including the unpaid federal gift taxes that the estate still has to pay. As I have previously discussed, the two men who managed her estate were dismissed from their positions. While a criminal investigation was started, neither man has had charges brought against them. With that said, the Elder Abuse Unit of the New York County District Attorney's Office is still investigating the matter.

See Bill Dedman, Up For Grabs: The $300 Million Estate of Reclusive Heiress Huguette Clark, NBC News, Oct. 5, 2012.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) and Jim Hillhouse(Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.


Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Gift Tax, Intestate Succession, Wills | Permalink

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