Heiress Huguette Clark lived in the Beth Israel Hospital for 20+ years, benefiting all who served her and enjoying the comfort to live wherever she chose without concern about cost. The lifetime giving pattern, if free, was apparently reflected in her Will. Huguette Clark was generous to those who gave themselves to her. The article does not say if "distant" relatives, who were close only as vultures from a distance, or anything about the estrangements and feelings of interest or concern in the family, or other matters that would have been reviewed in a trial.
Huguette’s persons chosen for business and health care decisions would certainly have demonstrated her confidence. The law incentivizes unscrupulous attorneys with up to 40% of an estate before trial and 50% if trial occurs in many jurisdictions. This is hard to turn down when a $300,000,000 estate can be pot-shot. Unscrupulous attorneys have been known even to file false pleadings for distant relatives. For the relatives, it is a matter of “nothing ventured, nothing gained” to challenge an estate like Huguette Clark’s and demonize those who personally supported her.
The lawyer should have known better, but the lure of probate fees may have overwhelmed his own objectivity. Apparently, the gifts during lifetime were substantially generous enough for the nurse and lawyer to settle. The entire matter ends up a travesty of a system where no honorable gift of self goes unpunished. Gifts both ways seem punished by family and legal vultures. Whether these were honorable gifts of self may be up to question, though it seems they were for Huguette Clark.
NEW YORK — A tentative deal has been reached in a New York court fight over the will of a reclusive Montana copper mining heiress that would give more than $30 million of her $300 million estate to her distant relatives, a person familiar with the case said Saturday.
Read full story: Huguette Clark’s Will: Tentative Deal Reached in Court Fight Over Reclusive NY Heiress (opens in new window)