From the Wall Street Journal:
Indra B. Tamang, who grew up in a mud house in a farming village in Nepal, has reached a pinnacle of society after more than three decades of loyal service as a butler, cook and caretaker to a socially prominent American family.
The cook became the master—as the inheritor of two apartments at the Dakota, the legendary West Side apartment building, and a valuable collection of Russian surrealist art—after the death last year at the age of 98 of Ruth Ford, a film and stage actress who was the wife of Zachary Scott, a dashing Hollywood star.
Now 57 years old, Mr. Tamang has a wife and three daughters and owns a two-family home in the Woodside section of Queens. Mr. Tamang also owns the house in Katmandu where he first worked for Mr. Ford.
In addition, he now has a multimillion-dollar inheritance and the views of a co-op board to consider. He became a U.S. citizen last year, more than 20 years after first applying for citizenship, with the help of Ms. Ford.
In her will, accepted for probate last month in Surrogate's Court in Manhattan, Ms. Ford turned over her entire estate including the apartments and an art collection, with the exception of her clothing and costume jewelry, to Mr. Tamang.
Several brokers said it was unlikely that the Dakota's co-op board, known as one of the most fastidious and unpredictable in the city, would let a former staffer live in the building. A spokeswoman for Prudential Douglas Elliman, which manages the building, declined to comment.
Even though an heir can be the beneficiary of shares in a co-op, the board can refuse to approve the transfer of the shares or can block the right of the beneficiary to live in the building under the basic co-op document known as a proprietary lease.
The issue may not even come up. Karin P.E. Gustafson, an estate attorney who is Mrs. Ford's executor, said that after discussing the taxes and other expenses of the estate, Mr. Tamang agreed to put one of the units, Ms. Ford's three-bedroom apartment, on the market.
Asked if he thought the board would approve him, Mr. Tamang said he didn't know. "I am satisfied living where I am," he added.