Huguette Clark, a New York heiress with an estate valued at more than $400 million, died in 2015 simply shy of her 105th birthday. A Last Will and Testament executed by Clark in May of 2005 was participated in probate quickly after her death.
The Will left nothing to Clark’s household, instead her estate was left to her long-time private nurse, a museum to be developed out of her California estate and a few other non-family members. Not long after the first Will was produced, a 2nd Will emerged– this one performed simply 6 weeks prior to the first Will. The most current Will wins in a battle of the Wills right? Not all the time.
Clark’s fortune is the result of being the only enduring kid of an industrialist who made his fortune at the turn of the 19th century as well as acting as a U.S. Senator. Clark was a divorcee and never had kids. Clark’s extended family contends that Clark’s intention was constantly to keep the household fortune within the family. In support of this, the household points not just to the Will Clark performed just weeks prior to the one produced for probate, however likewise to other Wills carried out by Clark throughout her life time.
Clark was a recluse, by any definition. Despite owning estates in both New York and California, along with being in fairly good health, Clark resided in a healthcare facility in New york city for the last 20 years. Clark appeared to have had very little contact with any of her relative. Whether Clark’s isolation was of her own choosing, or as a result of unnecessary influence by non-family members close to Clark, will be a concern for the probate court to decide.
If the court decides that the most current Will was performed under pressure or as an outcome of undue influence by those close to Clark, then the court will declare the Will to be void which may then result in reinstatement of the second Will– leaving whatever to Clark’s family.