Bettencourt's Daughter to Control L'Oreal Billions

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In the latest twist in the family drama surrounding France's richest woman, cosmetics heiress Liliane Bettencourt has been put under the legal protection of relatives. A judge made the decision after a medical report concluded Bettencourt suffers from a form of dementia.

As of a court decision on Monday, L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt's daughter wins control over her 88-year-old mother's business affairs.

The decision comes almost two years after she first asked to take over on the grounds her mother had been exploited.

The decision was made on the basis of a medical examination, carried out following a surprise visit to the elderly billionaire's home in June.

The medical exam concluded she was suffering from a form of dementia.

But Liliane Bettencourt's lawyer said that the heiress was highly upset, did not understand the decision, and that she would appeal the decision.

[Jean-Rene Farthouat, Liliane Bettencourt's Lawyer]:
"I saw her today, I had lunch with her, and she confirmed in a written statement her desire to have me lodge an appeal of this decision. Her reaction is a mixture of misunderstanding, of refusal, a big.... Her reaction touched me a lot, I saw she was in a great deal of pain."

Liliane Bettencourt's wealth and revenues, including her 30 percent stake in L'Oreal -- will now be managed by her daughter Francoise Meyers-Bettencourt and her children.

Jean-Victor Meyers, Bettencourt's grandson, will be responsible for her health and physical well-being.

With a fortune estimated at over $23 billion dollars, the Forbers rich list says Liliane Bettencourt is the wealthiest woman in France and the 15th richest person in the world.