Huguette M. Clark was a millionaire heiress to a copper mining fortune, who left her money to charity and others that supported her late in life. Relatives of Huguette are waging a bitter campaign to overturn her will and inherit her money. They are blocking New York attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, from brokering a deal to include the named beneficiaries of the will.
Huguette’s father was U.S. Senator William Andrews Clark, a Montana copper king. He was born in 1839 and helped found the city of Las Vegas. He made his fortunes building railroads and was a very rich man during his time. He lived during the Gilded Age and died in 1925 as one of America’s richest politicians.
Huguette was born in 1906 and had lived abroad in countries like Paris during her youth. She was regarded as shy in her demeanor but was an avid painter. It is unknown if she was regarded as a professional artist as her paintings are not readily available on the open market. In addition, she collected dolls as a preoccupation and possessed an extensive collection.
Huguette M. Clark was regarded as a reclusive Millionaire, who left her money to charity organizations such as Bellosguardo and Beth Israel Medical Center. Bellosguardo is a charitable foundation for the arts out of the Clark summer home in California. As a painter, Huguette was probably compelled to give back in a way as to make a mark in the arts.
Huguette passed away at the age of 104 in New York’s Beth Israel Medical Center and she willed them millions. Her registered nurse was also a beneficiary named in the will who will likely become a millionaire. Provisions were made for a goddaughter, attorneys, accountants, doctors and other employees. No relatives were named as a beneficiary in Huguette M. Clark’s will to the surprise of observers.
Schneiderman’s Charities Bureau office has tried to mediate settlement actions with relatives to remedy the conflict but has not experienced much success. There are more than 60 attorneys working on the case and information surrounding a settlement has been nominal. Schneiderman’s office has not been forthcoming with the media and unanswered question still remain as to any resolutions.
Jury selection was scheduled to hear the case in Surrogate’s Court in Lower Manhattan but was put off in hopes of finding a middle ground between the opposing parties. The trial will move forward if negotiations are not successful within the coming weeks. Huguette’s estate is estimated at a net worth of $300 million. Millionaire Huguette M. Clark was emphatic about not leaving her money to relatives and left a large amount to charity.
By Thomas Barr