The Family War Dianne Feinstein Battled Before Her Death, Explained

Upon the announcement of her death on September 29, California Senator Dianne Feinstein received accolades from all over the political world. Hilary Clinton honored her on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying, "She blazed trails for women in politics and found a life's calling in public service." Feinstein was elected in 1992 and was the longest-serving woman in the Senate.

But along with praise for her political prowess, there have been rehashings of her personal family drama. Feinstein was married to financier Richard C. Blum, who died in February 2022, leaving behind an estate rumored to be worth $1 billion. 

Feinstein's daughter, Katherine Feinstein, acting on her mother's behalf, has been in and out of court, fighting for the right to access the funds. At every stage, they have gone up against Blum's three daughters from a previous marriage, and his former business partners, who are currently in control of the estate. At the time of Feinstein's death, the battle raged on.

Three lawsuits have been filed against her late husband's estate

Dianne Feinstein married Richard Blum in 1980, while she was still mayor of San Francisco. He was her third husband, and brought three daughters into the marriage, while Feinstein had a daughter of her own. Blum was financially successful, but Feinstein also came with money. It was her estimated net worth of $50 million that has caused some of the contention over her late husband's estate.

Feinstein's daughter Katherine Feinstein has filed three separate lawsuits against the estate, saying she has been acting on behalf of her mother. The suits have requested the estate pay for Feinstein's medical bills, allow for her to sell one of the couple's homes, and appoint Katherine as a trustee. 

The estate has not outright refused to release any funds, nor have they agreed to any of Katherine's demands. She has most recently accused them of elder abuse on behalf of Feinstein and has said Blum's daughters were being favorited. The trustees maintain that they're simply taking time to get the estate in order before they start any distributions. They have also pointed out Feinstein's considerable wealth, noting her personal funds had to be taken into consideration. Three weeks before the senator's death, a judge had ruled all parties enter into mediation, in an effort to resolve all issues without a courtroom setting.