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Latest Clark Estate
updated: Sep 21, 2013, 10:15 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

A proposed settlement in the estate of the reclusive heiress Huguette Clark would give more than $30 million to her relatives, most of whom never met her.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 453225 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-09-21 10:25 AM

Nice...way to pick the bones.
Family and money, it never ends well.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-09-21 10:37 AM

The proposed new charity of preserving her estate in Santa Barbara will get the bulk will be stankin like the turd refuge in 10 years someone will be pocketing that cash!


 COMMENT 453231 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-09-21 10:40 AM

Problem with public agency attorneys (Attorney General) they are not the best and the brightest and they are afraid to litigate. The "family members" who never met the Lady, get $34.5 mil and their attorneys $11.5. That's $46 mil that should have gone to her intended charitable intent, instead of to this "settlement". Let us hope the tax strategy works and the local Foundation is left with enough cash to begin operations. Once going I am sure local philanthropists will carry the weight, together with entrance fees like Getty. It would be a very cool museum! Let's hope!


 COMMENT 453234 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-09-21 10:50 AM

I would really love to see the inside of that house before anyone 'remodels'...I bet it's amazing!


 COMMENT 453246 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-09-21 11:44 AM

The lack of any information about the cost to the tax rolls of moving the property to a non profit, or what the current costs are of keeping the property ($125K a year to the manager is disclosed) makes the statements about what is 'viable' speculation at best. The notion that a New York based foundation, with some SB community representations will be able to execute anything like the Getty is also speculation. Without a plan to create value - read revenue- any foundation is at risk. And we risk having another Ty Warner buy it and do as they please if the foundation fails. Good luck to the "Friends of" in their appeal for standing.


 COMMENT 453253 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-09-21 11:52 AM

An upcoming lecture about the Clark estate if anyones interested....



 COMMENT 453273 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-09-21 12:51 PM

The Clark estate used to fight off Magazines like Nat'l Geographic because they knew if the public got in they would ruin it.I used to work there occasionally taking care of the temp control systems and boiler. We always had to leave our shoes at the door and no pics because flashes destroy colors. Every piece of furniture and musical equipment had two covers to protect them from light and wear. I hope the people running it now think about how the Clarks, who did a lot for SB back when the estate was built, would think about turning it into another tourist attraction. Remember only folks from LA were coming here back then and I think they would not be to happy about cruise ships parking outside their place and then inviting them in. Please don't open this jewel to the public.


I don't think there is an equal in Ca. I have been to Hearst castle a few times and always was a little dismayed at how worn out it looked from general traffic.


 COMMENT 453291P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-09-21 02:10 PM

Another jewel in Santa Barbara's crown. May this site be a fitting gem to our community without arising much rancor and destruction.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-09-21 04:42 PM



 COMMENT 453378P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-09-21 07:30 PM

They've been allowing the public to tour British stately homes (think Downton Abbey) for years. Of course, they're all owned by cash-poor aristocrats or the National Trust. Still, the houses get attention and some funding and the public gets to see how the other 1 percent lived. Doesn't sound like this house is short of cash right now though.


 RHS agree helpful negative off topic

2013-09-22 10:03 AM

Another reason not to write wills. Just gives a chance for litigation. Statutory rules on inheritance evolved from centuries of common law are fine. In any event, when you are dead you are dead and it is farcical to worry about what happens to your earthly property after your end. Actually worse than farcical, more like morbid in that people spend their last years focusing on this sort of pettiness.


 COMMENT 453480P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-09-22 11:42 AM

These out-sized estates left over from the the 1880s, 1920s, feudal era (and now) are created in times of great inequality and injustice that are usually followed by financial panics and war. An anomaly of our current estate tax law left way too much for family and lawyers to fight over. Who actually created the fortune? One could argue that it is fair for it to be divided among Huegette's father's remaining descendants. It would make even more sense, if we were truly an uncorrupted self-governing citizenry (as our founders envisioned) for there to be a maximum inheritable amount, the rest to go back to the community (government) to be used to fix bridges, maintain our shared cultural heritage (fund and maintain the Clark Art Museum, contents suitable protected but open to the public.) We are a long way from all of that - but it is the better road, gotta know where you're going to there. The outcome of the case was reasonable under the circumstances...


 COMMENT 453481P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-09-22 11:48 AM

RHS, omitting a will does not ensure there will be no litigation. People challenge statutory rules all the time, and force heirs into litigation. It just happened to me; my brother and I had to have a lawyer explain (that's the nice way of putting it) to my father's third wife that she had to respect his will and trust, in which case I am very glad there were a will and trust to refer to. Even so we had to pay substantial "go away" money which in my case came from my daughter's college fund because that's all the savings I have. I would argue it is not petty to want to make sure your children and/or spouse or friends get to keep the things they enjoyed you while you were alive, like their home/farm, etc., especially if some of those you want to benefit are not directly related to you. Many of the statutes rely on common law, convention and precedent, and interpretation is not standard.


 RHS agree helpful negative off topic

2013-09-22 01:22 PM

The only issue in a "challenge" to statute would be the facts of kinship. There is a huge difference between this and the arguments over "undue influence" and "overreach" and "competency" involved in will disputes. And, yes, I do think it petty to worry about inheritance. All inheritance does is to allow people who have not demonstrated competence to succeed whereas others who are competent don't. It is a distorting influence on society. There should be a 80% or more tax on estates. This would also encourage early divestiture of wealth and help the economy. We say we do not want to recreate royalty but seem to be doing so by catering to the transition of wealth from creators to their heirs.


 COMMENT 453563 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-09-22 06:22 PM

The only posters here who are against intelligent, considered estate planning, whether to care for family, or in the case of Ms. Clark, try to make sure "family" who she had no relationship with received what they deserved, which is nothing, are those who did not have the wherewithal to achieve financial success in their own life, and are bitter about it. We have some great examples (i.e. Bill Gates and others) today on creative and positive estate planning. The statutory family inheritance laws are fine for people who effectively have nothing at death.


 COMMENT 453570 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-09-22 06:46 PM

A friend says his dog peed on her many years ago. Since he actually met her, that should be a stronger claim than most of the relatives. How much does he get?

BTW, wills are a crock. Nobody outside of probate court will even look at them. My grandpa had a trust and his will boiled down to, "Any assets that don't have specific, designated beneficiaries are to be gifted to the trustee and distributed according to the terms of the trust." Good f'ing luck taking that to the bank. "Oh, we're not allowed to look at the will. You need to get a [insert legal designation here] document." Each financial institution will have their own unique requirements, needing a specific document from your lawyer that contains the correct buzzwords.


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