Presidental Candidate Pierre du Pont Challenges Aunt’s Will
MANCHESTER, Vt. (AP) _ Republican presidential candidate Pierre S. du Pont IV is challenging his aunt’s will, saying part of the $1.5 million estate destined for charity belongs to him.
Lawyer Robert Hemley, representing du Pont and his three cousins, Jane du Pont Kidd, Michelle du Pont Goss and Martha Goss Johnson, filed an appeal Thursday in Manchester Probate District Court asking for a jury trial.
Du Pont served two terms as governor of Delaware before leaving office last December and announcing a bid for the Republican nomination for president.
He is the nephew of Nancy Holcomb Anderson, who died in 1984 and left an estate of more than $1.5 million, part of which came from a marital trust from Ernest Anderson, who died earlier the same year.
The four du Pont relatives are arguing that Mrs. Anderson intended to leave the money in the marital trust to them.
Probate Judge Ellen Maloney ruled against Du Pont and Mrs. Anderson’s three nieces in August, finding that the four charities named by Mrs. Anderson in her will are entitled to split the estate.
Maloney said she could find no evidence that Mrs. Anderson had specifically directed that the money in her estate be given to someone other than the four charities: the Boys’ Club Inc. of Waterbury, Conn., the Waterbury Foundation Co., the Waterbury Hospital, and the Bennington County Humane Society.
Maloney ruled that some aspects of Mrs. Anderson’s will were ambiguous, but she could find no specific clause directing that the estate be shared among Du Pont and his three cousins.
Du Pont’s lawyer disagreed with Maloney’s ruling.
″Our position is that she did exercise the power of appointment. We think it was her intention to have her nieces and her nephew get the money in the marital trust,″ Hemley said.
A jury trial is expected to be held later this year in Bennington County Superior Court.
Rutland lawyer James Anderson, who represented the four charities in the case, was not available for comment, according to a secretary at his office.