Legal Battle Over Art Collector’s $300 Million Estate

Posted on June 29th, 2011 No Comments

The widow of a Manhattan art dealer has filed a lawsuit against the executor of her late husband’s $300 million estate.

Accoridng to court documents, Clare Stone, the widow of ardent collector Allan Stone, has filed a lawsuit claiming the executor of his estate improperly bought an $8.5 million Connecticut house with Stone’s money. The lawsuit also claims the executor, Leila Wood-Smith, of moving $200 million of Stone’s art into her home without court approval.

Daughter Jessie Stone claims she visited Wood-Smith’s home in 2010 and was surprised to see some of her father’s collection on the walls.

According to the lawsuit, Wood-Smith allegedly received a fee of nearly $6 million while Stone’s widow has received “less than one percent per year of the value of the Marital Trust.”

Stone’s estate is valued at approximately $300 million. Portions of the estate have sold at two auctions. In May 2011, works by sculptor John Chamberlain sold at Sotheby’s for nearly $55 million. In 2009, 71 lots offered by Christie’s sold for $52.4 million.

If you need assistance protecting your estate and navigating the complex legal realm of trust law, please contact the Houston trust attorneys of Garg & Associates, P.C., by calling 281-362-2865.

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