The reclusive heiress, who died this week at the age of 104, leaves behind a mysterious Santa Barbara mansion built on a 23-acre bluff overlooking the Pacific - and valued at more than $100 million, according to msnbc.com's Bill Dedman. She hadn't been to the place since the 1950s (caretakers worked at the estate for generations without ever meeting Clark). All told, the fortune is estimated to be worth $500 million, and it'll be tough figuring out who gets what. From the Atlantic Wire:
She divorced in 1930 and never remarried. After her mother Anna died in 1963, she cut herself off from the world, shutting herself into the family's massive apartments at 907 Fifth Avenue, in New York. The family owns the entire eighth floor and half of the twelfth--42 rooms in all. There's also a beach house in Santa Barbara that she hasn't visited since the 1950s and a country house in New Canaan, Conn., currently for sale for $23 million.
All of Clark's affairs are handled by her lawyer, Wallace Bock and her accountant, Irving Kamsler, who themselves are the object of some suspicion. A series of reports on MSNBC last year led to an investigation, still underway, into whether the pair have been inappropriately taking advantage of their positions of power over Clark's fortunes. Kamsler has been convicted of distributing indecent material to 13 and 15-year-old girls in an AOL chatroom.
From the NYT obit:
With its keen dramatic elements -- an outlandish family, lavish generosity and a 70-year effort to keep the world at bay -- Mrs. Clark's story captivated the news media and the public. As MSNBC.com and other news organizations have reported, during her years in hospitals, Mrs. Clark made large gifts to charitable causes, friends and associates. To her longtime nurse, for instance, she gave the money for several homes, which together are worth almost $2 million. Mrs. Clark gave a dollhouse worth more than $10,000 to Mr. Bock's granddaughter; after the Sept. 11 attacks, she donated $1.5 million for a security system to the settlement in Israel in which Mr. Bock's daughter and her family live.