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The World’s Wealthiest Woman

As a group, women still hold a small fraction of the world’s total 10-figure fortunes. Forbes lists 1,426 people as the World’s Billionaires.  Of this total, a mere 138 are women. However, that figure is an increase from 104 women last year.

The title of the world’s richest woman belongs to Liliane Bettencourt, the 90-year-old L’Oreal heiress. Forbes estimates Ms. Bettencourt’s fortune to be $30 billion, a $6 billion increase from last year.   A spike in the value of L’Oreal shares over the past year helped put her back among the top ten richest for the first time in over a decade. Ms. Bettencourt reportedly weighs in as the 9th wealthiest overall, up from the 15th wealthiest in 2012.

Ms. Bettencourt, whose father founded the cosmetics giant, was replaced on the L’Oreal board in February 2012 by her 25 year-old grandson.  Ms. Bettencourt is a widow with one daughter.  She also suffers from dementia, and in 2011, her fortune was put under the guardianship of her daughter after a very public three-year legal battle.

The Bettencourt family has waged numerous legal battles against one another. In a 2008 challenge, Ms. Bettencourt’s daughter petitioned courts to investigate a reported $1 billion in cash and gifts her mother allegedly gave to a friend.  Ms. Bettencourt’s daughter claimed, and Ms. Bettencourt vehemently denied, that the friend had taken advantage of her mother.  The Bettencourt fortune and surrounding circumstances are interesting; they also serve as a reminder that a mental health care power of attorney should be part of any comprehensive estate plan.

For more information, or to schedule a free consultation, contact our office at 888-222-1328.

Andrea ClausContributed by MH Phoenix Estate Planning Attorney Andrea Claus.

Why Choose Morris Hall:
You have a number of options when it comes to estate planning, so why pick Morris Hall?  First off, estate planning and asset protection are a very complicated endeavor and you should only trust someone who focuses exclusively on those matters.  Also, MH is a proud member of The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA) which provides us additional support, advanced training, tools and information that is not available to others – which means that we can better protect your assets and your loved ones.  We are one of only two firms in Arizona that belong to the AAEPA and are the only firm in New Mexico that has been granted membership.  If you have assets and loved ones that you want to protect, you are in good hands with MH.  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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