Current Event: Huguette Clark Estate Controversy
Huguette Clark, the youngest daughter of Idaho State Senator William Clark, a copper tycoon, died in 2011 at 104 years old. Her death set off a series of lawsuits and estate claims that have spanned three years and cost millions. Nineteen relatives have come forward and over $34million has changed hands for court fees.
A woman named Lori Ann Sellers also came forward with a claim to a mansion known as “Bellosguardo” using a torn page from a book with “Cabrillo Mansion is Yours!” written with Ms. Clark’s signature. Ultimately her case for ownership was thrown out due to a statute of limitations on how long she could wait to file for possession using this sort of document, and the lack of substantiating documentation.
What if Ms. Huguette had truly wanted Bellosguardo to go to Ms. Sellers? What if that note had been her legitimate attempt to make this happen? She was known for being incredibly generous and for lavish gifts to those she liked. However, she made one huge error: she didn’t have an iron-clad will to prevent her family members from suing and debating to whom the money would go – unfortunately even the best estate planning can’t always prevent this, greed is a powerful motivator – and she didn’t write up a proper deed of transfer for Ms. Sellers.
The Law Center, PC is available at 303-991-5200 for a consultation to discuss your estate and what you want to happen with it. Without proper planning in place you may not be able to ensure your assets are distributed the way you want them to be.
The Law Center PC