Huguette Clark, who died in May at the age of 104 had an estate of over $400,000,000.00. Ms. Clark died in a hospital. She had two different wills that were changed weeks apart. One will signed in March 2005 left most of the estate to her family (i.e., relatives since she had no children) and another will executed weeks later left her estate to charity and a nurse and cut out her family. Ms. Clark received her fortune from her father who was U.S. Senator William A. Clark. Senator Clark represented the state of Montana after amassing a huge fortune mining copper.
Her relatives filed an action in the New York Surrogate Court recently to review how money was spent over the last several years of her life. Ms. Clark’s assets were managed by two people named Bock and Kamsler. These two were among few people who had access to Ms. Clark over the last several years of her life. According to a court ordered accounting of the finances as overseen by Bock and Kamsler demonstrated that this woman who lived in a hospital room spent over $1,000,000.00 per month. Bock and Kamsler are accused of manipulating Ms. Clark for her money.
It appears that there will be a fight over her estate. I have seen over and over again who individuals who have wealth are usually surrounded by people who are afraid to help wealthy person is obviously becoming incapacitated. People just seem to be afraid to assert that a wealthy person is incapacitated. It is almost as if we have some type of belief that it is bad to be incapacitated, and by denying the obvious we are helping the wealthy person out. This is not true. If you or I live long enough, we will be incapacitated; it is just part of life. It is far better to claim that someone needs help than to ignore the situation because the incapacitated person is rich or was very powerful when that person had capacity. Ignoring the situation can allow the wealthy person to be exploited by those people he or she trusted. If you have a loved one who may be losing capacity, do not hesitate to contact Cody & Linde, PLLC today!