Huguette Clark’s $300M estate battle: Deal reached that leaves nurse with nothing

Where there’s a $300 million will, there’s a way to make a deal.

Lawyers in the nasty court battle over reclusive heiress Huguette Clark‘s $300 million estate officially made peace on Tuesday morning, just before the jury selection was set to resume.

The 30-page agreement spares all sides the costs of what was expected to be a bruising six- to eight-week trial over Clark’s mental competence at the time she signed her last will in April of 2005, when she was 99 years old.

Clark died in 2011 at age 104.

The biggest winners under the terms of the agreement are Clark’s relatives, many of whom she did not know or barely knew at all. Twenty of them will receive a total of $34.5 million, while their lawyers will get $11.5 million.

Clark’s longtime nurse, Hadassah Peri, who’d been slated to get approximately $30 million under the 2005 will, will now get zero. In a separate document, she also agreed to refund $5 million of the over $30 million in cash and gifts Clark gave her during her lifetime. Peri’s lawyers, however, will pocket $1.1 million.

Not mentioned at all in the agreement is Beth Israel Hospital, where Clark spent the last 20 years of her life.

The 2005 will left $1 million to the hospital, but it now won’t receive a penny.

The deal also establishes a charitable foundation in California that will get Clark’s sprawling $85 million estate in Santa Barbara, its contents, including artwork, Clark’s doll collection, which has been estimated to be worth $1.7 million, and $4.5 million in cash.

Some of Clark’s bequests from the 2005 are left untouched, such as $3.5 million for Clark’s goddaughter, Wanda Styka, and $100,000 to “my physician and friend, Dr. Henry Singman.”

In a hearing Tuesday morning, Manhattan Surrogate Court Judge Nora Anderson praised all sides for their “extraordinary effort” in putting the deal together.

“I think the result is a fair result,” Anderson said.

The deal also allows the estate to sue Clark’s former accountant, Irving Kamsler, and her former lawyer, Wallace Bock, for malpractice. Both had been named as administrators to Clark’s estate, and then suspended for allegedly wasting her assets.

The pair are officially removed their posts as part of the deal, which names the city Public Administrator’s office as their replacement.

If the suits are successful, any recovered proceeds would go to Clark’s relatives, the agreement says.

Proceeds from any other claims the estate recovers would be divvied up between the relatives, the Bellosguardo Foundation, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

The gallery will also get $10 million in cash, and half of all profits exceeding $25 million from the sale of one of Clark’s painting, Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies.”

The 11th hour deal was brokered by lawyers from the state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office, who were involved because Clark had left much of her money to charity.

Melissa Grace, a spokeswoman for the AG, said the “settlement that will ensure that Huguette Clark’s charitable wishes are fulfilled, allowing the bulk of Mrs. Clark’s wealth to go to charity instead of being wasted on legal costs. The arts foundation that Mrs. Clark envisioned will be created, with the gracious and historic Bellosguardo mansion in Santa Barbara, California at its center.”

Attribution:

Huguette Clark’s $300M estate battle: Deal reached that leaves nurse with nothing
The biggest winners under the terms of the agreement are Clark’s relatives — 20 will receive $34.5 million, while their lawyers will get $11.5 million. Clark’s longtime nurse, Hadassah Peri, who’d been slated to get approximately $30 million under the 2005 will, will now get zero.
Dareh Gregorian
September 24, 2013
New York Daily News
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/deal-reached-battle-heiress-huguette-clark-300m-estate-article-1.1465939#ixzz2fwvTw2hy

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