Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Friday, June 24, 2011

Huguette Clark's Will Filed With Manhattan Court

Images As I previously blogged, reclusive heiress Huguette Clark passed away on May 24 of this year. Clark’s will was filed with a Manhattan court this week, allowing the world to see where Clark’s estimated $400 million estate will go.

Clark’s will established the Bellosguardo Foundation using the majority of her estate’s assets. The foundation will promote the arts and have its home at Clark’s California estate. The will also gave the foundation the art in Clark’s former apartment, including pieces by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, John Singer Sargent, and William Merritt Chase. Additionally, the foundation will acquire a large photography collection, rare books, and a Stradivarius violin.

Under Clark’s will, a 1907 canvas by Claude Monet from his “Water Lilies” series will go to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Clark’s immense doll collection and the majority of the remainder of her estate will go to Hadassah Peri, Clark’s “loyal nurse, friend and companion.”

The will also left half a million each to Clark’s attorney and accountant. Both men are involved in a criminal inquiry into their handling of Clark’s finances. The two men are also named as the co-executors under the will.

Clark did not leave behind any children and included the following statement in her will:

I intentionally make no provision in this my last will testament for any members of my family, having had minimal contacts with them over the years. The persons and institutions named herein as beneficiaries of my estate are the true objects of my bounty.

See Stephen Miller, Heiress Gives Millions to Nurse, Arts, The Wall Street Journal, Jun. 23, 2011; Bill Deman, Heiress Huguette Clark’s Will Leaves $1 Million to Advisers, MSNBC, Jun. 22, 2011; Liz Goodwin, Reclusive Copper Heiress Leaves $38 Million to Nurse, The Lookout, Jun. 23, 2011.

Special thanks to Joel Dobris(Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law), and Neda Garrett (Attorney at law, Plano, TX), and David S. Luber (Attorney at law, Florida Probate Attorney Wills and Estates Law Firm)for bringing this article to my attention.


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The stradivarius, Le Pucelle - The Virgin, rated in the existing 500 strads known in the top 5, was sold for $6 mil to a private collector in WA. A REAL steal. Lady Blunt Strad sold for almost $16 mil- in June 2011 http://www.artfixdaily.com/news_feed/2011/06/21/5115-stradivarius-violin-soars-to-record-159-million. Le Pucelle, the piece de resistance, was to be the crown jewel in Bellosguardo museum. Clark's attorney & cpa were known to have duped Clark's PREVIOUS attorney in his dotage into signing over his estate to them; posed in court to have been the man's 'son' and closest friend. They got away with it and moved on to the Clark estate. This reeks of elder abuse issues, etc. Any justice also in getting Le Pucelle BACK to her estate as intended? Is New York court system so incredibly corrupt to support outrageous in-your-face thieves?

Posted by: Cynbowers | Jul 27, 2011 9:43:30 AM

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