Negotiations Over Reclusive Heiress' Estate Collapse

Will of Huguette Clark set to go to trial
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2013 2:50 PM CDT
Negotiations Over Reclusive Heiress' Estate Collapse
In this Aug. 11, 1930 photo, Huguette Clark Gower, daughter of the late copper magnate and senator, William A. Clark of Montana, stands against a wall in Reno after being granted a divorce.   (AP Photo)

A settlement was said to be near in the matter of Huguette Clark's $300 million estate, but negotiations have broken down, according to some of the 60 lawyers involved. That means the fate of the reclusive heiress' fortune will likely be determined at a jury trial starting a week from today in Manhattan, NBC News reports. Clark's personal physician will testify for the will at the trial—and he had to renounce the $100,000 Clark left him in order to do so, because state law limits testimony from beneficiaries.

Dr. Henry Singman, who together with his family also received $951,808 in gifts while Clark was alive, says he didn't know about the will until after her death. The estate's temporary administrator is trying to force him to repay the gifts. Other beneficiaries named in the will include a charitable foundation, a hospital, and Clark's nurse, goddaughter, attorney, and accountant, among other employees. (The attorney and accountant are also expected to renounce what they were left and testify for the will.) They are fighting a challenge from 19 of Clark's relatives, all from her father's first marriage, who say the will is fraudulent. (Read more Huguette Clark stories.)

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