Heinz Died With $423 Million, According to Docs Released in Papers' Suit

By: (AP) Sen. John Heinz III had about $423 million in cash, stocks, and other property when he died in a 1991 plane crash, according to documents released Friday after a newspaper challenge.

The estate of Heinz -- whose widow, Teresa, later married Sen. John Kerry -- paid about $41 million in federal estate taxes and $17 million in state taxes, the records show. The estate included some jointly owned property not subject to probate.

Judge Frank Lucchino had ruled in March that the law favored opening the records, which were sealed the day after the 52-year-old senator, an heir to the Heinz ketchup fortune, and six others died when an airplane carrying Heinz collided with a helicopter.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sought the will and 10 other documents when Kerry ran for president last year, saying they could shed light on his wife's charitable activities and indicate whether she used some of her inheritance to help his White House campaign.

The estate's executors -- including Heinz Kerry, who took control of the Heinz family fortune -- have fought the request, citing privacy and security concerns.

"The fact is, the outdated probate records released today add little of relevance to current debate," executors' attorney Paul J. Bschorr said in a statement.

But Charlie Kelly, an attorney representing the Post-Gazette, called the release of the documents a "victory for the public interest."

Besides the will, the documents include court forms completed by the executors, a transcript of court hearings and a summary of the estate's assets and transactions.

Lucchino deleted bank account and Social Security numbers and anything specifically detailing the location of valuables, like artwork. A line-by-line accounting of the estate also remained sealed.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here