It seems that almost every day now there’s a new story in the papers about Huguette Clark, the reclusive 104-year-old Manhattan heiress who is reported to have abandoned her luxurious homes for a simple hospital room, even as questions swirl about the conduct of her trusted financial advisors. The controversy has a number of complex layers, but at the core it has essentially become a public debate about whether or not an elderly rich person has been taken advantage of by the very individuals hired to protect her, namely her accountant, Irving Kamsler, and her attorney, Wallace Bock. Clark’s family members have filed suit, and New York City prosecutors are reportedly looking into allegations that these two advisers have fleeced their elderly client.
Whenever a vastly wealthy patriarch or matriarch reaches inheritance-splitting age, family disputes inevitably follow. Such disputes typically fall into one of two categories. First, there are the squabbles among the descendents themselves, each of whom generally wants to avoid getting less than any of the others, even if it means counting down to the very last penny. And second, there are battles between family members and wealth advisors, specifically the individual advisors who are closest to the aging (or recently deceased) holders of the family assets.
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What’s So Surprising About the Huguette Clark Inheritance Scandal?