A judge recently approved the sale of the home of former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith. The proceeds from the sale will go to the late model’s six-year-old daughter, Dannielynn. Many may remember Anna Nicole Smith for her marriage to the late J. Howard Marshall, an oil industry magnate.
According to a local news article, the home sold for $1.3 million, despite being worth approximately $1.8 million at the time of Smith’s death in 2007. The buyer is reportedly Rouzbeh Zoka, trustee of the Rouzbeh Zoka 2012 revocable trust.
Howard K. Stern, Smith’s former lawyer and now executor of her estate, reportedly stated that the sale of the home was “to the advantage of the estate and in the best interest of the interested persons.” The “interested persons” in this case is Smith’s daughter, Dannielynn.
California estate and probate law is on its face relatively straightforward, but can become very complex very quickly. When a person dies, his or her real and personal property form an estate. The estate includes any income, investments, real estate, and possessions of the person who died (known as the “decedent”). The decedent before dying or in a will may name someone–either a person or an entity, such as a bank or charity–to serve as the executor of the estate. In this case, Smith had apparently named her attorney Howard K. Stern as the executor of her estate. The executor is charged with managing the estate’s liabilities and distributing the estate’s assets to the named beneficiaries (in this case, Smith’s daughter). The primary responsibility of distributing the proceeds of the sale of Smith’s home will fall on Stern as executor of her estate.
It can become more complex when there are disputes over the decedent’s intent. For example, when a person dies, they might have named only some, but not all of his or her children in a will. Most likely, the unnamed children would contest the validity of the will, and estate litigation may ensue to determine whether the decedent intended to omit certain children or whether the omission was unintentional. This is but one example of a dispute that can arise in the execution of an estate plan. If you or someone you know is dealing with a dispute over the administration or execution of trust or estate in California, you should contact an experienced trusts and estates litigation attorney to ensure your interests are represented.
At Ginzburg & Bronshteyn we are dedicated to providing efficient, effective, and affordable solutions to clients involved in trust and estate disputes, as well as other types of family law issues. As a boutique firm in the Westwood district of Los Angeles, we serve clients in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura County, and throughout Southern and Northern California. Our attorneys are renowned for producing high quality work and working diligently to achieve our client’s goals. Over the years we have developed a reputation for effective estate planning in complex and sophisticated matters. Contact us by calling (310) 914-3222, or by using our online contact form.
Related blog posts:
A California Will May Not Prevent an Inheritance Battle, Los Angeles Probate Litigation Attorney Blog, July 31, 2012
Battle Over Thomas Kinkade’s California Estate Continues, Los Angeles Probate Litigation Attorney Blog, July 1, 2012