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Beneficiaries of Huguette Clark estate seek to regain property

The estate of a wealthy woman who died in 2011 is a party in a recent string of lawsuits that may be of interest to our readers in Texas. The woman was the heir to a large fortune created in the copper business by her father, William Clark. Now, those who were beneficiaries of her estate stand to gain even more than the amounts that they have already received as the probate matter has continued.

According to a report, the woman, Huguette Clark, lived to be 104 years old. Prior to her death, she resided in a hospital room and was cared for by a private physician. Clark's estate asserts the hospital and doctor took advantage of the elderly heiress. The suit alleges that the heiress paid each of them over $1 million in gifts and cash. The gifts included a Manet painting that has an estimated value of $3 million.

The beneficiaries of her estate include relatives, an art museum and a foundation. The relatives included some people who had never met the heiress. These people have received $34.5 million each to date. The art museum was awarded $10 million.

In estate planning, is it sometimes the case that organizations and relatives are beneficiaries of an estate. This is one reason why it is important for people in Texas to include directions to executors and trustees as to how to distribute the assets that are left behind for their beneficiaries. However, when, as happened here, the estate suspects that a person has been unduly influenced, they may seek a return of money or property given by an individual prior to his or her death.

Source: KTVQ.com, Hospital that cared for copper heiress slapped with $105 million lawsuit, John Sherer, Nov. 21, 2013

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