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Why Is Sen. Feinstein Suing Late Husband's Estate?

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Written by Troy Werner

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POSTED ON: August 19, 2023

Senator Dianne Feinstein has sued her late husband's estate after she claimed trustees denied funds she requested to cover her "significant" medical bills, RadarOnline.com has learned.

Radar Online’s recent article entitled, “Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 90, Sues Late Husband's Estate, Seeks Reimbursement for 'Significant' Medical Bills,” reports that Feinstein and her daughter, Katherine, have filed a lawsuit at a San Francisco courthouse through their probate lawyers.

While Senator Feinstein's petition claimed her request was denied, trustees said they were "perplexed" by her filing. Feinstein sought greater control of funds from the 1996 marital trust established by her late husband, Richard Blum, who died in 2022.

Probate court documents filed by Feinstein's probate lawyers accused trustees of denying her disbursement request to help pay off "significant" medical expenses. Feinstein's attorneys said in the filing that she was the trust's "sole income beneficiary." The petition noted that the trust's assets included a life insurance policy and its proceeds.

Attorneys for Feinstein and her daughter, Katherine, wrote that the California Senator had accrued “significant” medical expenses and sought reimbursement from the marital trust.

Trustees for the fund said they’ve never denied any disbursement for Feinstein, who was absent from the Senate for two-and-a-half months this year as she contended with shingles and other complications.

Despite Blum's intent to provide for his wife's welfare after his death, “the purported trustees have refused to make distributions to reimburse Sen. Feinstein's medical expenses,” Feinstein and her daughter claimed in the filing.

They also said the “purported trustees,” Mark R. Klein and Marc Scholvinck, weren’t appointed in compliance with the terms of the trust.

“While my clients are deeply concerned, we all remain hopeful that this is simply a misunderstanding that can be quickly resolved,” said Steven P. Braccini, a probate attorney for Klein and Scholvinck.

Braccini said, “We have not been presented with any evidence showing that Katherine Feinstein has power of attorney for her mother; nor has Katherine made it clear, either in this filing or directly to my clients, why a sitting United States senator would require someone to have power of attorney over her.”

The 90-year-old Feinstein has held her seat in the Senate representing California for nearly 31 years.

Illustrated here is the importance of properly setting up estate planning with clear distributions with an inheritance. If there is ambiguity in a living trust or will, it can easily lead to disputes or litigation in probate court.

If you need help in setting up your estate plan to avoid this, or if you are going through a probate case, we are always happy to help.  Our probate lawyers in the Los Angeles area can guide you through California's probate process.

If you have any probate questions, schedule a free appointment with us through our online appointment page.

You can also read reviews from some of the hundreds of clients we have helped over the years.

Reference: Radar Online (July 20, 2023) “Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 90, Sues Late Husband's Estate, Seeks Reimbursement for 'Significant' Medical Bills”

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