Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) accused the trustees of her late husband’s estate of committing financial abuse against her and called for them to be suspended as administrators of the account in a recent legal filing.
Feinstein, 90, accused the three trustees — Michael Klein, Marc Scholvinck and Verett Mims — of the Richard C. Blum Revocable Trust of denying her funds to which she is entitled from her late husband’s estate. Her late husband, Richard Blum, was reportedly a billionaire when he passed away early last year.
The filing marks the latest salvo in the battle by the longtime California lawmaker to gain access to the funds.
According to her filing, the three trustees are “wrongfully withholding distributions to which [Blum’s] Trust entitles her in bad faith and diverting assets that they should have used to fund” Feinstein’s marital trust.
Feinstein said that upon Blum’s death, $5 million was to be placed into her trust, with that total set to be dispersed to her in quarterly installments. That $5 million payment has not taken place, she says, and she has not received any disbursements, she said.
“The Court should suspend and remove the Trustees for breaching their fiduciary duties, including their duties of loyalty and impartiality, to report and account, and to administer the [Blum] Trust according to its terms,” Feinstein’s filing reads.
The remainder of the trust is set to go to Blum’s three daughters. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Blum’s children are slated to receive $22 million each from the trust at present if Feinstein dies and she does not receive the $5 million she says is supposed to transfer to her trust.
“The Trustees’ inaction shows that they intend to benefit Richard Blum’s daughters, who stand to inherit millions of dollars that should go to Senator Feinstein if the Trustees never make the required distributions to her. The Court must hold the Trustees accountable for their breaches of trust,” the filing reads.
A Feinstein spokesperson declined to comment, citing a “private family matter.”
In addition, Feinstein disputed a claim made by Steven Braccini, the attorney representing Klein and Scholvinck, who previously told the Chronicle that they have “never denied any disbursement to Senator Feinstein.”
“The Trustees have failed to respond to any requests for disbursements, which is a de facto denial,” Feinstein’s filing says, labeling their remark as “misleading.”
Feinstein is independently wealthy. However, she hasn’t been able to access Blum’s monies in order to help cover the “significant medical expenses,” as she said in a July suit, incurred related to her battle with shingles earlier this year that forced her to miss 2.5 months of Senate action.
The legal battle is the latest happening in what has been a tumultuous year for the longest-tenured Senate Democrat.
In addition to her bout with shingles earlier this year, calls for her to resign (she announced she’s retiring at the end of her term) and reports of her declining mental acuity, Feinstein fell last week at her home in San Francisco. She was briefly admitted to the hospital for precautionary reasons but was released hours later.