Recluse New York heiress leaves fortune to nurse and art charity – VIDEO
Strong-willed woman’s astounding estate revealed through 2005 will
Huguette Clark, the daughter of one of the wealthiest men in the United States, has left most of her $400 million estate to her nurse and personal friend and a charity which promotes the arts.
Last month the 104-year-old millionaire heiress died leaving a question over what would become over her massive estate. Clarity was provided this week when her lawyer filed Clark’s 2005 will with the Surrogate Court in Manhattan.
John D. Dadakis, a lawyer from the firm Holland & Knight who filed the will explained that Clark’s estate is made up of an art collection including works by Monet, Renoir, John Singer Sargent and William Merritt Chase. Her will also included her real estate and financial investments as well as a large doll collection from porcelain to Barbies.
The will revealed that Hadassah Peri, Clark’s nurse and close friend, has inherited her doll collection (potentially worth millions) as well as 60 percent of various assets worth $40 million. Clark’s goddaughter, Wanda Styka, will receive 25 percent.
A foundation established to promote the arts will receive her Santa Barbara estate, most of her art collection, all her musical instruments and her rare book collection.
She also left $1 million to the Beth Israel Medical Center where she lived in her final years. She left $500,000 to her assistant and $100,000 to a doctor.
Her 1907 original Claude Monet paint from the “Water Lillies” series was given to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington.
Her lawyer Wallace Bock, and to her accountant, Irving H. Kamsler were left $500,000 each. There was also an explicit note that said no family members would receive anything because of their minimal contact with her.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office is investigating Bock and Kamsler and how they have handled Clark’s money.
Dadakis who is representing Bock and Kamsler in the surrogate court proceedings said the men had done what the heiress had asked them to do. She left them this money because they were close to her.
Speaking to the New York Times Dadakis said “When you understand who Mrs. Clark was I think you clearly see that this is a lady that was very strong willed. This will speaks for that being strong willed, the way she was.”
Clark was not a woman that many knew well. For the past several decades Clark had lived in various hospitals in New York with her only contact being with chosen medical professionals and staff. She also had not children and no close relatives.
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