Solution marriage, dementia plague struggle more than $40M cosmetics fortune

Probate Judge Gregory F. Fater, top center, presides over a recent Zoom hearing involving the court-appointed guardians of beauty school founder Henri Blain and his future heirs.

NEWPORT — In 2016 Henri Blain owned house in a few states, was the founder of a prosperous string of Massachusetts elegance educational institutions that he’d marketed to an growing salon empire, and held an estate valued at around $40 million.

The then 78-year-old bachelor also had dementia. It still left him that 12 months incapable of caring for himself or his fortune.

The consequence has been 4 decades of lawful wrangling in Probate Courtroom amongst Blain’s court docket-appointed guardians and future heirs, contested probate orders appealed to Excellent Courtroom, quarrels over guardian and attorney charges — and a judge questioning the validity of an unannounced relationship in 2018 involving Blain and a longtime good friend.

The probate decide, Gregory F. Fater, labeled the marriage in between Blain and Sharon Pratt-Blain invalid “on account of the incapacity and incapacity of the ward.”