ESTATES: Battle for the Shrinking Millions

Howard Hughes, who honed to perfection an almost fiendish talent for playing off his aides and lawyers against one other, would be delighted with the tangled mess he left behind. His death 14 months ago immediately set up a potential clash between his long-estranged family and the financially privileged insiders who ran Hughes' solely owned Summa Corp., which was founded in 1972 to oversee his vast holdings. At first, to almost everybody's surprise, peace reigned between the rival camps. But, after months of growing tensions, a full-scale battle for Hughes' fortune has now broken out.

Family Pact. The struggle pits...

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