In an aging society, our elderly can easily fall prey to predators looking to exploit them. Elder abuse can take many different forms: physical, psychological or financial abuse, or simply neglect.
I read an article yesterday about Huguette Clark, the 104 year old heiress whose wealth is estimated at half a billion dollars. During her lifetime, Clark made generous gifts towards those who cared for her. For instance, it is reported that Clark gifted $10 million dollars to her social secretary.
It is reported that Clark’s wealth is being managed by her lawyer and her accountant.
A former paralegal who worked for Clark’s attorney, has now blown the whistle on what she alleges is improper behavior by Clark’s attorney and accountant. According to reports, it is alleged that they “drafted a will that would have left money to [one of them], trying repeatedly to persuade her to sign it — then joked about their client and cursed her behind her back when she would not sign the will.” It is also reported that her lawyer allegedly solicited from Clark $1.5 million dollars to build a security system for a community where his daughters and their families live. In addition he allegedly sold a Stradivarius violin for $6 million dollars and a Renoir painting for $23.5 million.
A criminal investigation has now been launched by the Manhattan district attorney, who has the Elder Abuse Unit of the New York County District Attorney’s Office looking into the handling of Clark’s finances.
It bears repeating that the complaints at this stage are unproven allegations. Nonetheless, the mere thought that this could happen provides us with a dreadful reminder of what the elderly face in our society today.
Thank you for reading,
Rick Bickhram – Click here for more information on Rick Bickhram.