Stone throwing in the Glassell house
Royal battle emerges over philanthropist's ninth will
Houston's legal elite are preparing for what is sure to be a courtroom circus over the estate of the late oil tycoon and philanthropist Alfred C. Glassell, Jr.
Chronicle legal eagle Mary Flood sets the stage for the battle scheduled to begin next week. In one corner are Glassell's widow, Claire Atwell Glassell; his son, Alfred Glassell III; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (where the Glassell Collection of African Gold resides); and the Glassell Family Foundation, a charity run by Alfred Glassell III.
In the other corner is Curry Glassell, the daughter who believes she was disinherited by the influence of Vinson & Elkins lawyers who coerced her father into giving her share of the estate to the family charity.
The disagreement centers over which of Glassell's nine wills should be followed. Glassell's widow and son advocate the most recent will, signed in 2003, while Curry Glassell is arguing in favor of a will signed in 1998.
Hanging in the balance are hundreds of millions from the half-billion-dollar estate, thousands of acres of land, priceless art treasures and any chance at a cordial family Thanksgiving.