Austin Texas Estate Planning Blog

Why is Sen. Feinstein Suing Late Husband's Estate?

Senator Dianne Feinstein Legal Dispute With Late Husband's Estate?

August 14, 2023 • | Law Office of Zachary D Kamykowski, PLLC
Senator Dianne Feinstein has sued her late husband's estate after she claimed trustees denied funds she requested to cover her "significant" medical bills, has learned.

Senator Dianne Feinstein initiated a legal dispute against her late husband's estate has garnered significant attention in the media. As reported by Radar Online, Feinstein and her daughter Katherine filed a lawsuit in a San Francisco courthouse, seeking reimbursement for "significant" medical bills from the marital trust established by her late husband, Richard Blum, in 1996.

Understanding Dianne Feinstein's Dispute:

The Marital Trust:

Richard Blum had established a marital trust in 1996, of which Senator Feinstein was identified as the "sole income beneficiary." The assets within this trust included a life insurance policy and its subsequent proceeds.

Medical Expenses:

Feinstein's attorneys have highlighted that the Senator has accrued substantial medical expenses. They sought reimbursement from the marital trust to cover these costs.

Trustees' Response:

The fund's trustees, Mark R. Klein and Marc Scholvinck expressed confusion regarding Feinstein's filing. They stated that they had never denied any disbursement to the Senator. Steven P. Braccini, representing the trustees, said they were hopeful that the situation was a misunderstanding that could be resolved swiftly.

Questions of Power of Attorney:

Braccini raised concerns about whether Katherine Feinstein held the power of attorney for her mother. He questioned why a sitting United States senator would require someone else to have power of attorney over her.

Feinstein's Absence from Senate:

It's worth noting that Senator Feinstein was absent from the Senate for a considerable period earlier this year due to health complications, including shingles.

Insights from Other Sources:

  • The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Senator Feinstein has faced challenges accessing her late husband's assets to cover her medical bills. This highlights the importance of precise estate planning and ensuring beneficiaries can access funds when needed.
  • An article from The New York Times delved into Feinstein's health challenges and the internal family dispute over control of her late husband's estate. Such disputes can be emotionally taxing and underscore the need for transparent and comprehensive estate planning.
  • AP News and ABC News emphasized the significance of the medical bills and the Senator's efforts to gain more control over her late husband's trust.
  • The Los Angeles Times provided insights into Feinstein's legal efforts to gain more control over the finances of her late husband's trust, emphasizing the complexities of estate management.
  • The Hill and The Washington Examiner both highlighted Feinstein's request for greater control over the finances of her late husband's trust, emphasizing the challenges beneficiaries can face when trying to access trust funds.


Estate planning is a complex process that requires careful consideration and precise documentation. Senator Dianne Feinstein having initiated a legal dispute against her late husband's estate underscores the importance of ensuring that trusts and other estate planning tools are set up to provide for beneficiaries as intended. It also highlights the potential challenges and disputes that can arise when the terms of a trust are not transparent or when there are disagreements among beneficiaries and trustees.

For individuals and families, this situation serves as a reminder of the importance of consulting with experienced estate planning attorneys. Proper planning can help prevent disputes, ensure that assets are distributed as intended, and provide peace of mind for loved ones.


Radar Online (July 20, 2023) “Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 90, Sues Late Husband's Estate, Seeks Reimbursement for 'Significant' Medical Bills”

"For an Ailing Feinstein, a Fight Over the Family Fortune " - The New York Times

"Dianne Feinstein sues late husband's estate, citing medical bills " - San Francisco Chronicle

"California Sen. Feinstein seeks more control over her late husband's trust" - AP News

"Dianne Feinstein is now engaged in a legal effort to gain more control of the finances from her late husband's trust"  - The Los Angeles Times

"Feinstein seeks more control over late husband's trust, citing significant medical bills " - The Hill

"Feinstein sues for control of late husband's trust amid 'significant medical bills' " - The Washington Examiner

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