Monday, October 30, 2017
Douglas Tompkins, co-founder of North Face and Esprit, died in Chile in 2015 while kayaking. During his life, Tompkins and his wife, Kristine, fought to preserve huge swaths of open acreage in Chile and Argentina. His will reflected his this passion and the final disposition of assets went to Kristine and foundations created to continue funding preservation efforts.
Tompkins’s daughter, Summer Tompkins Walker, is not a fan of her father’s estate plan or, quite apparently, her father. She has already challenged the will in California courts and plans to do so in Chilean courts. Because Tompkins had established permanent residency in Chile, Walker is arguing that the laws of Chile, not California, apply to the disposition of the estate. Walker stated: “We are all very hardworking, productive people not looking for a handout, and he clearly had no trust of us and no respect. So I take (his will) at face value. It’s definitely an insult. But he is dead, rotting in the ground as we speak.” As a final nail in the coffin, Walker added that her father was, “a completely self-absorbed human being, a narcissist.”
See Matier & Ross, Daughter Seeks Millions from Esprit Co-founder Douglas Tompkins’ Will, San Francisco Chronicle, October 29, 2017.
Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.