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Why should families take heed of the Alain Delon inheritance dispute?

Alain Delon’s family feud surrounding his assets and autonomy marks a tragic final act of the star’s life. Partner Samara Dutton comments on this family dispute.

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Published 5 February 2024

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Estate planning as a high-net worth individual with family issues can be complicated – even more so when it is played out in the public eye. This rings true in the case of Alain Delon, a 1960s French film star, whose children have publicly aired a dispute surrounding his medical regime and estimated €245 million fortune.

Alain Delon’s son, Alain-Fabien Delon, has shared what he claims to be a recording capturing his sister, Anouchka, allegedly manipulating their father. The recording reveals Anouchka repeatedly asserting to Delon that they are victims of a plot orchestrated by his sons, implying a scheme to control their father’s life. Delon’s sons, on the other hand, accuse their sister of exploiting their father’s fragile health condition following a stroke in 2019 to persuade him to relocate to Switzerland, purportedly to maximize her share of inheritance through tax advantages. The sons advocate for their father’s well-being to be maintained at his residence in Douchy, situated in France’s Loire region.

Lasting powers of attorney and deputyships  

It is situations like these which highlight the importance of having lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) in place to appoint trusted individuals to take charge of the key areas of one’s life. LPAs encompass documentation outlining the oversight of property, financial affairs, and health and welfare decisions. While a health and welfare LPA becomes effective upon the loss of mental capacity, a property and financial affairs LPA activates upon registration, regardless of the individual’s mental state.

LPAs afford individuals the opportunity to express specific preferences, such as residency preferences or consent authority over life-sustaining treatment, and can involve up to four designated attorneys, including impartial parties like neighbors or professionals. In Delon’s situation, LPAs would clearly be extremely useful to dictate the management of his assets and medical care (should his mental capacity be proven to have been lost), thereby mitigating any family tensions that could arise.

Manipulation and suspicion – building a claim

If a sibling or relative suspects that someone is manipulating an elderly relative, as in Delon’s scenario, it is wise to document all suspicious activity – in case you should need to build a case and provide evidence to support your claims. This includes evidence of the individual’s spending, any expensive ‘gifts’, bank account changes, missing valuables, witness accounts and illustrative correspondence (e.g. emails, letters, and messages).

Alain Delon’s family feud surrounding his assets and autonomy marks a tragic final act of the star’s life. It is however an extreme scenario, which can be avoided with effective estate planning and knowledge of the options available if someone believes a vulnerable person and their estate are at risk.

This article was first published by Campden Wealth on 29 January 2024.

For further guidance on the contentious probate or estate planning, please contact Samara Dutton.

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Shorter Reads

Why should families take heed of the Alain Delon inheritance dispute?

Alain Delon’s family feud surrounding his assets and autonomy marks a tragic final act of the star’s life. Partner Samara Dutton comments on this family dispute.

Published 5 February 2024

Associated sectors / services

Authors

Estate planning as a high-net worth individual with family issues can be complicated – even more so when it is played out in the public eye. This rings true in the case of Alain Delon, a 1960s French film star, whose children have publicly aired a dispute surrounding his medical regime and estimated €245 million fortune.

Alain Delon’s son, Alain-Fabien Delon, has shared what he claims to be a recording capturing his sister, Anouchka, allegedly manipulating their father. The recording reveals Anouchka repeatedly asserting to Delon that they are victims of a plot orchestrated by his sons, implying a scheme to control their father’s life. Delon’s sons, on the other hand, accuse their sister of exploiting their father’s fragile health condition following a stroke in 2019 to persuade him to relocate to Switzerland, purportedly to maximize her share of inheritance through tax advantages. The sons advocate for their father’s well-being to be maintained at his residence in Douchy, situated in France’s Loire region.

Lasting powers of attorney and deputyships  

It is situations like these which highlight the importance of having lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) in place to appoint trusted individuals to take charge of the key areas of one’s life. LPAs encompass documentation outlining the oversight of property, financial affairs, and health and welfare decisions. While a health and welfare LPA becomes effective upon the loss of mental capacity, a property and financial affairs LPA activates upon registration, regardless of the individual’s mental state.

LPAs afford individuals the opportunity to express specific preferences, such as residency preferences or consent authority over life-sustaining treatment, and can involve up to four designated attorneys, including impartial parties like neighbors or professionals. In Delon’s situation, LPAs would clearly be extremely useful to dictate the management of his assets and medical care (should his mental capacity be proven to have been lost), thereby mitigating any family tensions that could arise.

Manipulation and suspicion – building a claim

If a sibling or relative suspects that someone is manipulating an elderly relative, as in Delon’s scenario, it is wise to document all suspicious activity – in case you should need to build a case and provide evidence to support your claims. This includes evidence of the individual’s spending, any expensive ‘gifts’, bank account changes, missing valuables, witness accounts and illustrative correspondence (e.g. emails, letters, and messages).

Alain Delon’s family feud surrounding his assets and autonomy marks a tragic final act of the star’s life. It is however an extreme scenario, which can be avoided with effective estate planning and knowledge of the options available if someone believes a vulnerable person and their estate are at risk.

This article was first published by Campden Wealth on 29 January 2024.

For further guidance on the contentious probate or estate planning, please contact Samara Dutton.

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