Charitable giving in the lastyears of the Ã¼ber wealthy tend to come under fire from family members and thepublic, oftentimes questioning the donorâ€™s aging mind and capacity to makesound decisions regarding their finances. Such is the case of the late HuguetteClark, her immense inheritance, and the hospital that may (or may not) haveinfluenced her generous donations. Ms. Clark was extremely wealthy, and duringthe last twenty years of her life the reclusive copper heiress spent anabsolutely excessive amount of time in the hospital. She had few afflictionsother than, well, loneliness.
After her passing, it did nottake long for questions to arise regarding how the hospital pushed to care fora not-so-infirm woman for so long and just so happened to be receiving sizabledonations from her all the while. What may be worse is that the allegations maybe true and there are some interesting, perhaps damning, tidbits.
This scenario and the questionsit raises were reported recently in TheNew York Times in an article titled â€œHospital Caring for an Heiress Pressed Herto Give Lavishly.â€ The article chronicles the last lonely years on Ms.Clarkâ€™s life.
Remember, she was onlyall-too-human. If manipulation was afoot, what should be done about it and,closer to home, how can such manipulation be prevented in our own estates orthose of our already senior loved ones?
But then there is the reverse side of the coin: what ifit was not manipulation at all? Then Ms. Clarkâ€™s wishes and last charitableactions are being drawn through the mud for not having been fully articulated.
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