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The Daily Tar Heel

Estate Case\Reaches\Settlement

Estate Case\Reaches\Settlement

Although no details have been made public, a lawsuit brought by Hooker's first wife, Anna Hooker Burns, was dismissed last month.

Burns filed a complaint in Orange County court last fall stating that her 19 year-old daughter, Alexandra, had not received what was rightfully hers from her father's estate.

Carmen Hooker Buell, Hooker's widow and the executor of his estate, argued that her late husband's will met the requirements of the divorce contract.

In the complaint Burns claimed Hooker's estate owed her daughter $300,000 from a life insurance policy and about $102,000 for half of Alexandra's college expenses at Brown University. In the couple's 1992 divorce agreement, Hooker agreed to make his daughter the beneficiary of a $300,000 insurance policy and to pay half of her college expenses.

But at the time of his death from non-Hodgkins lymphoma in June 1999, Hooker had not paid his portion of Alexandra's tuition because she had not yet graduated.

In a four-sentence will Hooker wrote two months before his death, he left $100,000 to his mother, $300,000 to his daughter and the remainder of his estate to Hooker Buell. There was no $300,000 insurance policy naming Alexandra as beneficiary when Hooker died.

According to Burns' complaint, Hooker Buell said she thought her late husband intended the $300,000 stipulated in his will to substitute for the insurance policy referred to in the divorce agreement.

The case was dismissed last month. Neither Hooker Buell, who is now the state secretary of health and human services, or Burns could be reached for comment. According to a News & Observer article published Thursday, Robert B. Glenn, the Durham attorney who represented Alexandra, said a strict confidentiality agreement was a part of the settlement.

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