The late senator Dianne Feinstein’s daughter, Katherine Feinstein Mariano, is (still) feuding with co-trustees of the very large estate left amid the recent passing of the politician and her longtime husband Richard Blum, and it's spilling into the courtroom.
Mariano, who served as the presiding judge of the San Francisco Superior Court for 12 years until 2012, is accused of changing the locks of a Stinson Beach home from the estate and staging it for sale, against a judge’s orders, as the Chronicle reported.
In September — even before Dianne’s death at 90 years old at the end of that month — a judge in San Francisco Superior Court reportedly rejected an immediate sale order for the home, instead directing the parties toward mediation. Those parties include other trustees, former Blum Capital CFO Marc Scholvinck and Blum’s longtime attorney Michael Klein, as well as Blum’s three children from a previous marriage.
However, the very next day, the property at 325 Seadrift Rd. inside the gated community of Seadrift was listed as "coming soon" on a local real estate website, per the Chronicle.
The home wasn’t even technically Feinstein’s, it was part of the trust of her husband, wealthy investor Richard Blum, who died in February 2022. Feinstein was the sole beneficiary of the marital trust until she died, although she appointed her daughter as power of attorney in her last few months. (The Chronicle details even more about the financial technicalities of the trust here.) Over the summer, Dianne and Katherine had sued the other trustees, claiming that Klein and Scholvinck withheld $170,000 they requested to cover the senator's medical bills, as well as something to do with selling the Stinson Beach home that Feinstein and Blum bought together. Around the same time, Katherine and her stepsisters had argued in court over the Senator’s access to the assets left by Blum, when those accusations of elder abuse got flung around.
Now, after the Senator’s death, the public legal saga is continuing amid a backdrop of family conflicts and a struggle for control of the assets in the hefty joint property trust.
This week’s court filings by Klein reportedly allege that Katherine listed the 3,565-square-foot Stinson Beach property for sale at $8.5 million, and changed the locks to deny the co-trustees entrance directly against court orders. Plus, co-trustee Michael Klein is also apparently trying to oust Katherine Feinstein as a trustee as a result. He and the other stepdaughters are accusing Katherine of trying to use “her position as a co-trustee to divert funds from the trust,” according to the Chronicle, in an “attempt to increase Ms. K. Feinstein’s own inheritance during the remaining months of her mother’s life.”
The court filings reportedly also show statements from the Blum sisters saying they weren’t able to speak with the Senator before her death, as well as reveal some of the Feinsteins’ other assets, like an extensive art collection, valuable cars, and residences on Lyon Street in San Francisco, on Nebraska Avenue in Washington, D.C., and on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
Feature image of 325 Seadrift Rd., Stinson Beacu, via the Sherfey Group.