French Court Declares Europe’s Richest Woman Incompetent

10:34 pm Asset Protection

gavel 2 e1319495176879 French Court Declares Europe’s Richest Woman IncompetentA French court ruled last week that Liliane Bettencourt, Europe’s richest woman and heiress to the L’Oreal cosmetics fortune, is mentally unfit to manage her affairs.

According to a medical report obtained by the court, Bettencourt, 88, suffers from moderately severe Alzheimer’s disease and “mixed dementia.”  The court gave control over her financial affairs to her daughter, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, and two grandsons.  Forbes had listed Bettencourt at #15 on its list of the world’s billionaires, estimating her fortune at $23.5 billion.

Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers first brought suit three years ago, alleging her mother gave gifts totaling approximately $1.23 billion to a society photographer.  That suit was settled last year, with an agreement that Bettencourt’s attorney, Pascal Wilhem, would manage her finances.  Her daughter returned to court was a renewed suit after it was discovered that Bettencourt had invested almost $240 million with a Wilhem client.

Elder financial abuse continues to rise here in the U.S., and the National Center on Elder Abuse provides these warning signs and symptoms of financial or material exploitation:

  • Sudden changes in bank account or banking practice, including an unexplained withdrawal of large sums of money by a person accompanying the elder;
  • The inclusion of additional names on an elder’s bank signature card;
  • Unauthorized withdrawal of the elder’s funds using the elder’s ATM card;
  • Abrupt changes in a will or other financial documents;
  • Unexplained disappearance of funds or valuable possessions;
  • Substandard care being provided or bills unpaid despite the availability of adequate financial resources;
  • Discovery of an elder’s signature being forged for financial transactions or for the titles of his/her possessions;
  • Sudden appearance of previously uninvolved relatives claiming their rights to an elder’s affairs and possessions;
  • Unexplained sudden transfer of assets to a family member or someone outside the family;
  • The provision of services that are not necessary; and
  • An elder’s report of financial exploitation.

Our law firm has been a trusted source for estate planning, asset protection and business transactions for more than 35 years.  Call us today for a free consultation regarding asset protection, probate, or estate planning strategies that will help resolve your specific needs.

Your California legal and financial planning experts are at your service; Contact us today.

Leave a Comment

Your comment

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.