All About Estates

spousal settlements

In my last Blog I wrote about how a surviving spouse received $70 per month for decades. In such a situation a Trustee is needed who will be around for a long time. The following example is at the other end of the spectrum.

This example is about Patricia Kluge. For those of you who are not familiar with Patricia, she was at one time married to a billionare television industry mogul, John Kluge.

Patricia and John were divorced in the 1990s and Patricia received the largest ever divorce settlement. It was rumoured to have been in the neighbourhood of $1.5 billion. At the time, this amount of capital would have generated income of approximately $1.5 million per week.

Now, 20 years later, after a failed vineyard in Virginia among other interesting leveraged ventures, Patricia’s capital has been exhausted. The Bank of America took possession of her Virginia mansion a couple of months ago and Sotheby’s has auctioned off her jewellery, furniture and art.

The two most basic ways a marriage will end are divorce or death. When planning for the later, your clients might consider how their personal wealth will be managed and in some circumstances a case can be made for an independant trustee.

About Paul Fensom
Scotiatrust offers a full range of estate, trust and philanthropic advisory services designed to meet a client’s personal objectives and designed to evolve across a variety of life stages and financial events. Email: