The Two Wills of Reclusive Heiress Huguette Clark

9:20 pm Estate Planning, Wills

will3 The Two Wills of Reclusive Heiress Huguette ClarkWhen it comes to vast sums of wealth – in this case, more than $400 million – truth is often stranger than fiction.

Huguette Clark, a reclusive heiress who died in a New York hospital last May at the age of 104, is said to have left the bulk of her fortune to start an art foundation as well as generous bequests to her nurse, her attorney and her accountant, in an April 2005 will.

Now, according to the Associated Press, her family has brought a new will to light, executed in March of 2005 (just six weeks prior to the April 2005 will) that leaves her estate to 21 relatives on her father’s side of the family.  Those relatives are claiming that Clark’s fortune has been plundered by her attorney, Wally Bock, and accountant Irving Kamsler, whom they accuse of exerting undue influence in the creation of the April 2005 will.

According to a Forbes article, Bock drafted the first will.  The second will was drafted by an attorney in Bock’s firm, who specializes not in estate planning, but in commercial and bankruptcy law.  The family says that Bock directed the creation of the second will to enrich himself and Kamsler, who each stand to inherit $500,000 outright as well as millions in fees as administrators of the estate and directors of the foundation.

The family has also filed a request for a Surrogate’s Court judge to involve them in the proceedings regarding how Clark’s money was spent in the last years of her life.  According to court records, approximately $1 million per month was spent while she was confined to a hospital.  Both Bock and Kamsler deny any wrongdoing.

Get started by contacting our Orange County asset protection estate planning law firm as soon as possible.

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