Mother of Bessettes applies to administer estates of her daughters


Friday, August 27th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


NEW YORK (AP) -- The mother of Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and
Lauren Bessette has filed court papers to leave open the option to
sue over the plane crash that killed her daughters and John F.
Kennedy Jr.

Ann M. Freeman of Old Greenwich, Conn., on Thursday filed a
petition in State Surrogate's Court in Manhattan to distribute
existing assets totaling less than $1 million and any money that
might be produced from lawsuits.

The court papers left open the option of lawsuits, saying there
might be "personal injury and wrongful death claims against
persons and parties as yet unknown."

Ms. Freeman's daughters Carolyn, 33, and Lauren, 34, were killed
July 16 in the crash of Kennedy's single-engine Piper Saratoga,
which plunged into the Atlantic Ocean about 71/2 miles off
Massachusetts' Martha's Vineyard.

The National Transportation Safety Board has said the plane
appears to have been functioning properly when it hit the water,
but the weather may have been worse than indicated in a forecast
the 38-year-old Kennedy had received.

So far, no will has been filed in Surrogate's Court for the
estimated $100 million Kennedy estate.

The petition filed by Ms. Freeman, a teacher and administrator,
showed that the daughters had not filed wills and that the estates
totaled no more than $500,000 each. Lauren was an investment banker
at Morgan Stanley and Carolyn was a former publicist for designer
Calvin Klein.

Ann B. Lesk, co-chairwoman of the section on Trust Estates and
Surrogates Court of the New York County Lawyers Association, said
state law calls for the parents to administer the assets of someone
with no living spouse or offspring.