Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers seized control of the L'Oréal SA fortune Monday after her mother, Liliane Bettencourt, heiress to the cosmetics giant, was placed under guardianship, a victory for the daughter in an acrimonious family tug-of-war over an inheritance valued at €15 billion ($20.82 billion).
A judge in the Paris suburb of Courbevoie decided that the aging billionaire needed protection after reviewing a medical report stating that Ms. Bettencourt's mental health was failing, and that she was showing symptoms of dementia, lawyers involved in the case said.
Ms. Meyers had accused members of her mother's entourage of manipulating the frail widow, who will turn 89 on Friday. A separate legal investigation is under way to determine whether this was the case.
The assets of Ms. Bettencourt will be managed by her estranged daughter and her two grandsons. The eldest grandson, Jean-Victor Meyers, was appointed guardian.
Ms. Bettencourt will appeal the decision, her lawyer, Jean-René Farthouat, said. "She wants to be left in peace," he said.
One of Ms. Meyers's first duties will be to decide with her two sons whether the heiress can continue to serve on the L'Oréal board, a person familiar with the matter said. L'Oréal declined to comment.
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Heiress Loses L'Oreal Family Fight