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90-year-old Sen. Dianne Feinstein accuses trustees of her husband’s estate of financial abuse

 August 16, 2023

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 90, of California, has entered into a legal dispute with the trustees of her late husband's estate, accusing them of financial elder abuse.

The lawsuit, filed on Aug. 8th in California Superior Court in San Francisco County, alleges that the trustees have wrongfully withheld assets and improperly enriched the three daughters of Richard Blum, Feinstein's late husband, Daily Mail reported.

Blum, who passed away in early 2022, had been married to the lawmaker since 1980.

Feinstein's Daughter's Legal Actions

Feinstein, who has been dealing with health issues including shingles, has granted power of attorney to her daughter, Katherine Feinstein, enabling her to act on her behalf in legal disputes.

Katherine has subsequently filed three lawsuits against the trustees, seeking access to Blum's assets.

According to the lawsuit, the trustees committed "financial abuse" by "withholding distributions" that the late Blum's trust should have provided to the Senator.  The trustees are also accused of diverting assets intended for the senator's trust.

Trustee's Denial and Rebuttal

Steven Braccini, the attorney for co-trustees Michael Klein and Marc Scholvinck, has insisted that they have not denied any disbursement to Feinstein.

He countered that the senator has been receiving $125,000 quarterly as a response to her June lawsuit. Moreover, he described the current filing as "unconscionable" and accused Katherine Feinstein of avarice.

The lawsuit further charges the trustees with improperly funding gifts to Blum's daughters or forgiving their debts before giving Feinstein her due according to the trust's stipulations.

Each daughter will inherit at least $22 million upon Feinstein's death if the funds are available.

A hearing is set for the June case on Monday, while the July case is scheduled to be heard on Sept. 5, as the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Feinstein's Health and Political Landscape

Feinstein's recent health struggles have raised concerns over her ability to perform her duties as a senator. She has faced calls to resign from her fellow Democrats, fearing that her absence might hinder President Biden's judicial confirmations.

The legislator's diagnosis with the shingles virus, subsequent hospitalization, and three-month absence from the Senate have fueled these concerns.

However, some women lawmakers have defended her, labeling the calls for her resignation as sexist, especially when male counterparts have served until their deaths without criticism.

Feinstein's occasional confusion, as witnessed during a defense bill vote in July, has added to the concerns, but she has already declared that she won't run for re-election next year.

Several Democrats and a Republican businessman, Eric Early, have entered the primary to replace her.

Despite the controversies, Feinstein remains an influential figure in the Senate. As one of the wealthiest members, estimated to be worth around $58 million, and the fifth-oldest person to serve in the Senate.