Feinstein says late husband’s trust not paying her medical bills, asks court for more control


After acute health problems that kept her away from Washington for months earlier this year, Sen. Dianne Feinstein is now engaged in a legal effort to gain more control of the finances from her late husband’s trust.

The 90-year-old senator filed a petition asking a court to make her daughter, Katherine Feinstein, a successor trustee of Richard Blum’s trust, arguing that the people serving as trustees “have refused to make distributions to reimburse Senator Feinstein’s medical expenses.”

Blum, who died last year, was a wealthy financier and Katherine Feinstein’s step-father. Katherine Feinstein filed the petition on her mother’s behalf; she is a former superior court judge and a current San Francisco fire commissioner.

“Senator Feinstein has incurred significant medical expenses, and she submitted a request to whom she believed to be the trustees of the 1996 Marital Trust for reimbursement of her medical bills,” says the petition, which was filed Monday in San Francisco Superior Court.

“While seeking reimbursement for her medical expenses Senator Feinstein learned that Blum did not name the purported trustees in the 1996 Trust and they were not appointed in compliance with its terms.”

The petition asks the court to appoint Katherine Feinstein as a successor trustee who would control the trust, which includes a life insurance policy for Blum and its proceeds.

In the court documents, Feinstein argues that trustees Mark R. Klein and Marc Scholvinck were improperly appointed as trustees after Blum’s death.

Feinstein (D-Calif.) missed nearly three months of work after contracting a case of shingles and experiencing prolonged side effects that partially paralyzed her face and caused difficulty walking. Her absence, which slowed the appointment of some judicial nominees, caused serious consternation among colleagues and members of the Democratic party.

When she returned in mid-May, she appeared frail and in one conversation appeared to not recall she’d been absent for months. Her return did unlock the nomination of certain nominees and quelled some of the criticism being lobbed her way.

A recent statewide poll found that more than 40% of voters felt Feinstein should resign, and just 27% thought she should finish her term.

She has already said she’s not running for another term in 2024. Her office didn’t immediately return a call for comment. Neither did Klein or Scholvinck, who both worked with or had business relationships with Blum.


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