The Life, Death and Estate of Copper Heiress Huguette Clark

Huguette Clark, multimillionaire copper heiress, died on May 24th last year at 104 years old, just weeks away from her 105th birthday.  Although raised in high society and provided a thorough education, Huguette slipped into the shadows, secluding herself from the world for decades.

Huguette Clark was born in Parison June 9, 1906.  Her father, Senator William Andrews Clark, had shocked the world two years before her birth by announcing that he had been secretly married for three years and had a two-year-old daughter (Huguette’s older sister, Andree).  Due to the secrecy of the marriage, the nearly 40-year age gap between W.A. Clark and his wife, and the fact that no record of the couple’s alleged marriage was ever discovered, there was a great outcry of scandal.  However, being as rich as John D. Rockefeller, Clark ignored the public’s outcry, setting up his wife and daughters in a grandiose apartment on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Clark acquired his fortune in copper mining, owned banks, railroads, newspapers, sugar, tea, timber, real estate and many other investments.  He passed away during Huguette’s teen years, leaving her a large yearly allowance until she was able to claim her portion of his estate upon her 21st birthday.

At 22 years of age, Huguette was married to William Glower.  The couple soon separated and were divorced in less than two years.  After one other faulty relationship, Huguette disappeared from society for good.

Huguette became a recluse, not only to society, but to family and friends as well.  She spent the remainder of her life hidden secretly away under false names and with minimal contact to the outside world.  The last known photograph of her was taken in 1930, 81 years before her death.  She was so painfully shy, that one of her attorneys, who worked for her for over 20 years, never saw her face-to-face, instead communicating with her through a closed door.

Huguette owns three opulent homes that are consistently staffed and thoroughly maintained even though she has rarely stepped foot in them, and hasn’t visited any for over two decades.  The three homes equal a value of about $230 million.  Regardless of owning these homes and being in relatively good physical health, Huguette secluded herself away in a spartan hospital room for over 20 years.

Huguette’s estate, valued at approximately $400 million, is currently under investigation due to concerns that her attorney and accountant may not have been using her funds appropriately.  Her will is also under investigation to ensure they did not falsify the document.  The detectives and forensic accountant hope to be able to bring the investigation to a conclusion within the next few months.

“Madame Clark’s passing is a sad event for everyone who loved and respected her over the years,” said Michael McKeon, spokesman for Huguette’s attorney Wallce Block.  “She died as she wanted, with dignity and privacy.”

Regardless of how you choose to live your life and distribute your estate, an estate plan is the key.  Call MHK at 888.222.1328 more information.

About Morris, Hall & Kinghorn:
At Morris, Hall & Kinghorn, we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 40 years.  Along with estate planning, our attorneys help clients and their families with matters of probate, trust administration, wills, power of attorneys, business planning, succession planning, legacy planning, charitable gifting and other important legal aspects.  We also have divisions in financial, real estate and accounting to help you incorporate all of your planning together, ensuring that everything works perfectly for your needs and situation. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

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