Course Description

This unique CLE considers some of the challenges of estate planning for large estates and eccentric clients.  New York Times investigative reporter and author of Empty Mansions, the bestselling book on this subject, Bill Dedman, presents the story of Huguette Clark, including the origins of her fortune, her later life, and challenge of her will and the eventual settlement.  Course materials include the original estate documents and settlement agreement for your review.


This course includes video recorded from a live Zoom conference in December of 2020 and has been edited to fit the allotted time.


Your purchase includes access to the course and course materials for 90 days.


CLE Credit:

1.0 PA Substantive CLE

This course contains approximately 65 minutes of content, all of which is required for course completion.

Your certificate of completion will be issued automatically after all elements of the course have been viewed/completed.  Credits will be reported to the CLE Board within 30 days of your completion of the course and your completion date will be reported as the day on which you actually finished the course.


Minimum System Requirements:

This course includes downloads of PDF documents (Portable Document Format) and streaming video. Viewing the documents will require Adobe Acrobat Reader or other PDF viewing software.  Adobe Acrobat Reader is available for free from the Adobe website.

The video player will run on Mac OS, Windows and Linux as well as most mobile devices and tablets on any browser that supports Adobe Flash and/or HTML5.  Supported browsers include Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer 9,10,11, and Microsoft Edge.  Internet Explorer 8 is not supported on Windows XP for security reasons, but is supported on Windows 7 or higher operating systems.

An internet connection with a minimum speed of 768 kilobits per second is required.  At least 5MB/sec is recommended to stream video in full HD quality.  Please note that the video player may downgrade the quality of the video to accommodate lower connection speeds.

Course Presenter

  • Bill Dedman

    Investigative Reporter, The New York Times

    Bill Dedman

    Bill Dedman is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and co-author of the bestselling book "Empty Mansions." A frequent keynote speaker, Bill has spoken for conferences of the Federal Reserve, HUD, the National Association of Realtors, and associations on law, estate planning, philanthropy, housing, and lending.

    Bill received the 1989 Pulitzer Prize in investigative reporting for "The Color of Money," a series of articles in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on racial discrimination by mortgage lenders in middle-income neighborhoods. Among other awards, in 2008 he received a national award for investigative reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists for his articles and video on firefighter deaths. In 2011 he received a Best in Business award for investigative reporting from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers for his narrative on Huguette Clark and her family.

    In eight years with NBC News and nbcnews.com, he uncovered stories on the Pentagon's efforts to identify servicemen and women lost in past wars, fatal problems with firefighter safety equipment, uninspected highway bridges, the Obama administration's visitor logs, coercive interrogations of detainees at Guantanamo, and strategies for discouraging school shootings.

    Bill stumbled onto the mystery of the reclusive heiress Huguette Clark, who was featured in a series of reports on NBCNews.com and "TODAY." The Clark series has been the most popular feature ever on NBCNews.com, with more than 110 million page views. Bill has co-written a nonfiction book about the Clark family, "Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune." The book hit No. 1 on The New York Times bestseller list and was chosen among the best books of 2013 by Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, and others.

    Bill got his start in journalism at 16 as a copy boy at The Chattanooga Times. He has written for The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Boston Globe, and was the first director of computer-assisted reporting for The Associated Press. He taught advanced reporting part time at the University of Maryland, Northwestern University, and Boston University, and created the Power Reporting site of research tools for journalists. He served for six years as a member of the board of directors of Investigative Reporters and Editors. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Pam Belluck, a health and science writer for The New York Times.

Course curriculum

  • 1
    Introduction
    • How to Navigate This Course
  • 2
    Course Materials (Printing is Optional)
    • Empty Mansions Course Outline and Bio
    • 1. Empty Mansions Excerpt
    • 2. Comparison of Will and Settlement
    • 3. Clark Family Tree
    • 4. More information about Empty Mansions
    • 5. Huguette's Final Will
    • 6. Huguette's Earlier Will
    • 7. Anna Clark's Will
    • 8. William Clark's Will
    • 9. Clark Settlement Document
  • 3
    Course Videos and Required Evaluation
    • Empty Mansions Part One
    • Empty Mansions Part Two
    • Course Evaluation (Required)