In General Elder Law
Reclusive heiress, Hugette Clark, daughter of copper tycoon and former U.S. Senator, William Clark, passed away in May leaving behind an estate that is estimated at over $400 million. The estate included multiple homes and apartments, an extensive doll collection, an impressive art collection (including Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies”) and lots and lots of money. A great portion of that money was given to her attorney, Wallace Bock, and her accountant, Irving Kamsler. Both men were to receive $500,000 according to Clark’s will. In 2010, both men were also under investigation of mishandling Clark’s estate by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. The findings of these investigations have not been released. According to Ms. Clark’s family, around six years go they were instructed by Bock to longer contact her. Did Bock bar her family without her consent and was she a victim of elder abuse? Someday the facts may come out and we will know. But Clark isn’t the only one who may have fallen victim to elder abuse. The Administration on Aging defines elder abuse as any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult. If Ms. Clark’s finances were in fact mishandled, this would be considered elder abuse. Unfortunately, approximately half a million cases of elder abuse are reported each year. This abuse is not limited to financial exploitation. Other forms of elder abuse can include physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, neglect or abandonment by caregivers, and healthcare fraud. If you think someone you know is a victim of elder abuse, get the facts and check the signs and symptoms at Fortunately, there is help for those who need it. All fifty states have passed some type of elder abuse prevention laws. The National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA) is a valuable resource, providing information about prevention, what to do if you suspect abuse, and everyday helpful tips for caregivers. Their website is Or, if you’re a resident of the state of Louisiana, the Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs is another great resource. They can be found online at

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