In the past we have written posts about heiress Huguette Clark and her $400 million estate. After dying in 2011, Ms. Clarke left behind an estate that has since seen any number of dramatic twists and turns. Currently, 19 of her remaining relatives are claiming that her nurse, accountant, and attorney fraudulently convinced the heiress to leave much of her estate to them.
Her nurse, a woman who had been her private care provider for 20 years, received about $30 million in Ms. Clark’s final Will. The attorney and accountant each received about $500,000. The family claims that at the time she created her final Will Ms. Clark did not have the legal capacity to determine what she owned and how she should dispose of it. They argue instead that the Will she created six weeks prior should apply. That earlier Will leaves at least some of her fortune to the family, while the newest one does not.
Apart from the provisions of the Will the family also claims that the approximately $26 million Ms. Clarke gave to her nurse while she was still alive was also conveyed fraudulently, as Ms. Clark did not have the capacity to allow such gifts at the time.
It is difficult to say if the New York Surrogate’s Court will agree with the family’s claim and dismiss the most recent Will. If it does, it may very well throw out the prior Will as well. In that case, New York law states that her family members will divide the estate between them.