Huguette Clark's Will: Who Will Get Her Fortune?
Who's in Huguette Clark's will?
The reclusive copper heiress died on Tuesday in the Manhattan hospital she's been calling home, leaving people to wonder about the fate of her estimated $500 million fortune.
With questions about her mental health and an ongoing investigation into the attorney and accountant that have been handling her affairs, the answer to the above question can mean the difference between a drawn out court battle and a quiet ending.
Huguette Clark came back into the limelight last year after media began inquiring about her self-imposed isolation. She had been living in different hospitals for years despite owning palatial homes and employing a staff of aides.
About six years ago, her family members, who had continued contact with the heiress, were cut off at the behest of her attorney, Wallace Bock, reports MSNBC. They were also denied access to her funeral on Thursday.
In light of such suspicious activity, Manhattan prosecutors have been investigating whether Bock and Clark's accountant have been mismanaging her affairs, notes The New York Times.
This investigation is incredibly important for the fate of Huguette Clark's will.
If a decedent is not competent--or lucid--at the time that a will is created, it is unenforceable. The same goes for when she is improperly influenced by third parties.
There is evidence that both of these things may have occurred with respect to Huguette Clark's will. In October, prosecutors found Clark to be "not lucid" and found evidence that she had donated millions of dollars to Wallace Bock and his family, which is considered unethical conduct for lawyers in most states.
- Millionaire Heiress Huguette Clark Dies, Will Contest Looms? (FindLaw's New York Estate Planning News)
- Huguette Clark dies at 104; reclusive heiress (Los Angeles Times)
- Estate Planning and Undue Influence (FindLaw's Law & Daily Life)
- Heiress Huguette Clark: Elder Abuse Victim? (FindLaw's Law & Daily Life)