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The Estate of Copper Heiress Huguette Clark Continues to Face Battles in Probate Court

We have seen many articles about Huguette Clark and her estate since the copper heiress passed away in 2011.  There have been continuous battles about her estate, stories of wrong-doing by her attorney and CPA and estranged family members attempting to lay claim to her fortune.

And now there is yet another story.

The executor of Clark’s estate filed a legal petition on May 22nd asking the court to order that more than $44 million in gifts be re-paid to theClark estate. Clarks nurse, doctors, hospital, attorney and accountant are said to be the recipients of the said gifts.   The petition claims that the estate was bled away by undue influence or fraud.  It further accuses Clark’s attorney of malpractice on breaches of fiduciary duty, potentially opening the door for some of the claims to be covered by professional liability insurance policies.

Clark’s attorney rejected the claims and the rest of the recipients have until August 8th to respond to the Surrogate’s court.  The court will likely have to reconstruct the intentions of Ms Clark to the best of their ability.  Her mental state will have to be considered as well to determine whether she was manipulated into giving these gifts or if they were simply an act of gratitude.

Along with this new claim, a separate fight continues over which of Ms. Clark’s signed Wills is considered the valid one.  This is important to more accurately determine how she wanted her fortune distributed.

By ensuring that your estate plan is in place, you and your family can avoid all of the problems that may arise when your wishes are not put forth in a secure estate plan.  By creating a living trust, you can protect your assets and your loved ones, ensuring your estate as distributed exactly as you wish.  Contact MH today at 888.222.1328 to schedule a free consultation!

About Morris Hall:
At Morris Hall, 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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  • brian b says:

    ….sweet Huguette had chosen an heir whom she had known for 50 years! when she found out (30 years later) that her California caretaker had disobeyed her instructions about letting this person live there she fired him, then after her stroke her lawyers brought him back ~ they’d decided to go against her wishes & have it for themselves. She told the owner of Bergdorf’s just before her stroke that she was leaving everything to him & making him her Executor to protect it – she had gone over with him carefully what she wanted done. The New York D.A. has been informed about this & done nothing to help her! now the lawyers have filed 2 bogus Wills to confuse it – whilst her corporate attorney’s have yet to step forth to reveal her vast holdings…

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