Smith’s will leaves trust to deceased son

first_imgFORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The question of who will inherit Anna Nicole Smith’s estate was thrown into further confusion Friday with the release of a 2001 will in which the former Playboy centerfold said her fortune should be held in trust for her son – who died last year. The 19-page will did not say how much Smith was worth, so it is still a mystery how much money those battling over her and her baby daughter could get. The document said Smith’s lawyer and boyfriend, Howard K. Stern, should be her executor and hold her estate in trust for son Daniel Smith. But her son died last September at age 20 of apparently drug-related causes, days after the birth of the pinup’s daughter, Dannielynn. And the will explicitly leaves out anything for anyone other than the son. Chris Boyett, a trust and estate lawyer not connected to the Smith case, said that since Smith’s son is dead, the court will probably treat her estate as if she had died without a will, meaning her estate would by law go to her baby daughter. “I don’t think the result will be that it goes to no one,” Boyett said. “I think the courts are going to find a beneficiary, and I think the beneficiary is going to be the minor child.” Jeff Baskies, another lawyer who is not involved in the case, said that it was unclear who should get Smith’s estate and that it would depend on the laws in the place where she claimed residency when she died. Smith had a home in the Bahamas. The document was released hours after the judge – who is trying to broker a three-way dispute over the body – gave the OK to embalm Smith’s remains.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “I have intentionally omitted to provide for my spouse and other heirs, including future spouses and children and other descendants now living and those hereafter born or adopted,” Smith said in the will, which was signed under her legal name, Vickie Lynn Marshall. Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin ordered the release of the will in the latest round in the tangled legal dispute that broke out after the voluptuous blonde died at a Florida hotel Feb. 8 at age 39. The cause of death is under investigation. Stephen Tunstall, a lawyer for Smith’s estranged mother, Virgie Arthur, had questioned the veracity of the will before its release, calling it a “phantom will” because it was not filed in court. He did not answer questions about the document as he left court Friday. “They say he is an executor. You are not an executor or a personal representative unless a court appoints you,” Tunstall said. Ron Rale, an attorney for Smith who also is representing Stern in his case to prove fatherhood of Dannielynn, said he was aware the will alone wouldn’t win the battle. “The judge wanted it produced, but we won’t depend on it for our case,” he said. last_img read more