In 2005, Mrs. Clark executed two wills, just six weeks apart. The first, signed in March, would have given virtually all of her fortune, including possession of her Santa Barbara, Calif., oceanfront estate, Bellosguardo, to members of her family. The second, signed in April, cut them out with a nasty Dickensian flourish: “I intentionally make no provision in this my Last Will Testament for any members of my family, whether on my paternal or maternal side, having had minimal contacts with them over the years. The persons and institution named herein as beneficiaries of my Estate are the true objects of my bounty.”
In that version, the lion’s share of the estate — the lavish Bellosguardo, along with furnishings, musical instruments, books and art — would be turned into a foundation for the arts.To avoid such a situation for your clients (heiress or otherwise), check out our extensive estate planning collection.