Senator Dianne Feinstein is a very wealthy woman, thanks in large part to her late financier husband Richard Blum, but Blum’s estate trustees and Feinstein’s daughter are locked in a bitter battle over who gets control of that money.
90-year-old senator Dianne Feinsetin is still alive and kicking, though long-lingering questions about her reported “cognitive decline” and frequent forgetfulness make it no surprise that her daughter is making legal moves regarding the inheritance trust. This is not technically Feinstein’s fortune, it’s the trust of her late husband, investor Richard Blum who died in February 2022. Feinstein is the sole beneficiary of the trust until she dies, and when she dies, Blum’s three children from a previous marriage get the inheritance.
Breaking: Dianne Feinstein's daughter filed a petition on behalf of the Senator, suing to be made trustee of family trust + alleging current trustees were improperly appointed + have withheld $ Feinstein requested to pay for her "significant" medical billshttps://t.co/3GH95cO9xF— Alex Shultz (@AlexShultz) July 19, 2023
Let the angling begin. SFGate reported Tuesday that Feinsetin’s daughter is suing the current trustees for control of the trust. (Those trustees are former Blum Capital CFO Marc Scholvinck and Blum’s longtime attorney Michael Klein.) On Wednesday, the Chronicle published a copy of the lawsuit, along with the delicious detail that the daughter Katherine Feinstein had "previously filed a lawsuit June 28 alleging that Klein has refused to sign a grant deed transferring a home in the gated Stinson Beach community of Seadrift to Feinstein, who wants to sell the property.”
Daughter Katherine Feinstein, herself now 65 years old a current SF Fire Commissioner and former SF Superior Court judge, is suing to become the sole trustee. She says she has power of attorney for her mother, and the lawsuit is filed in Dianne Feinstein’s name.
The suit claims that the trust has not been reimbursing Feinstein for medical costs, presumably from her three-month bout with shingles that kept her sidelined from the Senate. Per the terms of the marital trust, they are supposed to reimburse for those bills. Katherine Feinstein also argues in the suit that Scholvinck and Klein were improperly appointed as trustees, and have no business running the trust.
Their attorney Steven Braccini said in a statement to the Chronicle that the trust "has never denied any disbursement to Senator Feinstein, let alone for medical expenses."
The statement adds that they have "not been presented with any evidence showing that Katherine Feinstein has power of attorney for her mother,” and notes that they “remain hopeful that this is simply a misunderstanding that can be quickly resolved, rather than a stepdaughter engaging in some kind of misguided attempt to gain control over trust assets to which she is not entitled.”
Feinstein's Senate office said in a Wednesday response to SFGate that “This is a private legal matter. Senator Feinstein and her office won’t have any comment.” So we don’t know where Dianne Feinstein herself stands on this mess.
A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Tuesday, September 5, the day after Labor Day.
Image: WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08: U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) (C) is assisted by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) (L), and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) (R) after a photo session at the U.S. Capitol on Seersucker Thursday, June 8, 2023 in Washington, DC. Senators wear seersucker clothing on Seersucker Thursday, an annual tradition that was initiated by former Senate Majority Leader Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) in 1996, to mark the National Seersucker Day. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)