Wednesday, March 4, 2009

She'll spend it, her way.

Heart Ranch - San Luis Obispo County California

A Conservatorship battle for Phoebe Hearst Cooke the 81-year-old granddaughter of William Randolph Hurst is underway. A temporary conservatorship has been granted and relatives are seeking to place control of Cooke's assets in the hands of her twin brother, George.

The LA Times reports that "documents filed in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court paint a picture of a searing conflict between a woman who can be fiercely independent-minded and relatives who say they are concerned about the alleged vulnerability of an elderly heiress."

Family members contend she has made a number of large monetary gifts and several valuable paintings are missing. Her attorneys allege a number of procedural irregularities.

Ms. Cooke has realized that she has "entered an era where she can be aided in the management of her assets," bus she should not be constrained from spending her money as she pleases. Her attorneys say that if her estate lost 5 million annually it would take 420 years to deplete it. According to Forbes she has a net worth of 2.1 billion. Today Hearst Corp. controls newspaper (San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle) and magazine (Cosmopolitan, Esquire) divisions, flourishing cable networks (stakes in ESPN, Lifetime, A&E). Also TV, radio stations.

See also the San Luis Obispo News Article

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