Who inherited Howard Hughes’s estate? The question isn’t as simple as it might seem. It was Hughes’ desire that all of the money go to his beloved medical institute. However, distant relatives of Hughes began to snatch some of the money from the Hughes estate. After Hughes’ death, the surviving family members fought with the estate administrators and the Medical Institute to make sure that his money went to the right people. The Hughes estate administrations eventually decided to divide the money between the institute and his cousin William Lummis. They fought the IRS for more than $100 million in federal estate tax.
The case lasted for seven weeks in a Texas courtroom. After hearing testimony from each of the five parties, a jury was formed to determine the beneficiaries of Hughes’ estate. The jury ruled that three Hughes granddaughters, two stepchildren of his son Rupert Hughes, and the three sisters were the paternal heirs. Each received about six and a half percent of the estate. After this, the heirs of the Hughes estate are still negotiating.
Dummar, Hughes’ nephew, unsuccessfully attempted to prove that he was the real heir to Hughes’ estate. He tried to prove his innocence, but the judge ruled that the Will was a forged document. As a result, Dummar did not receive any money from the Hughes estate. His story is now the subject of an Oscar-winning film starring Jason Robards and Paul Le Mat. The movie received many nominations, including Best Picture, and Mary Steenburgen won an Oscar for her supporting role.