Settlement Reached in Battle Over Administration of Heiress’s Estate

Posted on Oct 14, 2013

According to recent reports, the legal battle over the administration of the estate of heiress Huguette Clark may have reached a tentative settlement. Ms. Clark’s estate is worth approximately $300 million. As part of the dispute, family members of Ms. Clark argue that a will executed five weeks before the will admitted to probate is the correct and valid instrument that should be used during the administration of her estate. The more recent will left the bulk of her assets to several advisors and trusted healthcare professionals, rather than her family members.

Included in the tentative settlement would be an approximate $30 million inheritance to Ms. Clark’s relatives. Most of these relatives had never met Ms. Clark. In addition, Ms. Clark’s nurse would not receive anything. She also would be required to pay back $5 million of the $31 million that she received in gifts from Ms. Clark during her lifetime.

Ms. Clark’s Santa Barbara, California home is a central asset in the ongoing legal battle. The home is to be used as a foundation for the benefit of the arts under the terms of the more recent will. As part of the settlement, this aspect of the new will shall remain in tact. On Friday, the judge in the case issued a key ruling relating to the new foundation that made the settlement deal more likely. The settlement, however, assumes that the Internal Revenue Service will agree to lower the estate’s tax bill.

To learn more about this and other estate administration matters in Anaheim, contact an Anaheim living trust attorney today at (714) 459-5481.

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James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm