Thursday, February 28, 2013
As I have previously discussed, the legal battle between billionaires Gina Rinehart and her three eldest children continues. Recently, Gina's children secured funds from wealthy associates to pay their legal bills down and keep their case alive after depleting $300,000 of their own money. The children hope to remove their mother as trustee of the four billion dollar family trust set up by Gina's late father Lang Hancock. Since the legal proceedings, the children have been financially cut off from the trust benefits. One of the children, John Hancock, did not receive trust benefits even years before the legal battle began. The parties will be back in court in March. The case turns on the allegation that Gina breached her duty as trustee. The trust was supposed to vest in 2011 when Gina's youngest daughter turned 25. However, Gina withheld the money. She reasoned that the costs resulting from the vesting would have left the children bankrupt. Gina declares she upheld her fiduciary duty to protect and build the inheritance. In fact, according to Yahoo Finance Gina has increased the trust asset value by some 40,000%.
See, Rinehart Children Borrow for Family Trust Battle, Yahoo!7Finance.com, Feb. 26, 2013.
Special thanks to Thomas Hackett (Attorney at law, Washington Attorney in an Estate Admistration and Business Planning Law Firm) for bringing this article to my attention.