Anna Nicoles will--where to probate?

ANS died in Florida, but was, apparently, living in the Bahamas.

If the press reports are to be believed, her will stated that everything would go to her deceased son.

Presumably, her son died intestate. Therefore “someone’s” laws of intestacy would be in effect. Who is first in line? The Bahamas? California?

My understanding of intestacy is that the estate goes to the surviving next of kin. Howard K. Stern said that would be DannieLynn (sp?).

Assuming it’s under the laws of (whatever) US state, is that accurate? Is the father (of the deceased son) legally eligible to receive part of the estate?

Huhuhuhuh - you said “will”.

No, but since her only other heir (assuming her marriage to Stern is invalid) is a six month old. IANAL, but presumably assets would be held in trust for Dannielyn until she turns 18. This includes any potential winnings from the Marshal estate. However whoever ends up with custody of Dannielyn would likely have some access to the money in order to raise her.

From what Stern said in the news, it sounds like he’s saying that because Daniel predeceased Anna Nicole, her will fails entirely and the gift goes to Danielynn under the laws of intestate succession, since she was unmarried and had one child at death (Anna Nicole’s intestacy, not Daniel’s). If the property passes through the will, there’s a possibility some of Daniel’s other family members might be heirs-at-law as well under the anti-lapse statutes of some state or another, piling one probate fight on top of another. As far as venue, hard to tell. It looks like Florida requires you to file in the county of domicile at death, so Florida might be out and it might be California or the Bahamas.

Well, it’s a bit more complicated:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0733/SEC101.HTM&Title=->2006->Ch0733->Section%20101#0733.101

So if she owned the home that she lived in in Florida or someone owed her money in Florida, Florida is possible. Plus the statute makes clear that the venue provisions aren’t jurisdictional–if they were, then the last sentence of (3) couldn’t apply.

Also, then, since venue objections are waivable, if she filed there and nobody complained, she’d still be ok.

Also also, domicile is not the same as residence. If she left Florida without the intention of changing her permanent residence, she’s still domiciled there. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domicile_(law)#Domicile_of_choice (sorry for the Wiki cite, busy day).

Florida’s law of intestate succession:

http://www.flsenate.gov/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0732/SEC103.HTM&Title=->2006->Ch0732->Section%20103#0732.103 (Emphasis added).

California law of intestate succession:

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate?WAISdocID=48290828848+0+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve (Emphasis added).

Bahamian law of intestacy:

http://laws.bahamas.gov.bs/statutes/statute_CHAPTER_116.html#Ch116s4 (Emphasis added).

Florida’s anti-lapse statute:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0732/SEC603.HTM&Title=->2006->Ch0732->Section%20603#0732.603

Bahamian anti-lapse statute:

http://laws.bahamas.gov.bs/statutes/statute_CHAPTER_115.html#Ch115s21

California anti-lapse statutes:

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate?WAISdocID=4845437495+0+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve

Did she live there? I thought she just happened to be in Florida when she died. I haven’t really been keeping close track, though.

I haven’t been, either. And apparently I misread the OP, to boot. Although, I was just speculating with my father (a long-time probate lawyer) about whether she had an estate plan that would account for the sudden death of her adult son *and * her own death soon after. I’m still not convinced she didn’t.

This article discusses some of the issues: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17114395/

You’d sure think someone who stood to collect up to a $400+ million inheritance would have some pretty thorough estate planning of their own. In the meantime, where can I go to sign up for DNA testing? It’s worth a shot.

The latest:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/LAW/02/16/smith.ruling/index.html

This whole mess is shaping up to be a pretty damn good Law School Wills choice of law and pretermission essay.

I don’t understand something in this whole financial mess. From the article:

Since nothing had been resolved, and she is dead now, why is any money going to her at all? Shouldn’t the lawsuit be null and void since one of parties is dead?

Nope, not at all. Her estate becomes the successor party to these suits through the executor or administrator of the estate.

As for the choice of law issues, it is going to depend on where she was domiciled and where the assets are. If she didn’t own anything in Florida and didn’t live there then it will be pointless to have the estate probated there since there isn’t an estate to probate there. I would hope that her will drafted in 2001 would take into account the likelihood of her having more children and would have a provision to that effect. I wonder if the will had anything appointing a guardian for her son in the event that she should predecease him. It may be probative in determining who the future guardian of her daughter would be in the event that paternity for the kid isn’t determined.

It does — but not in the way you’d hope:

two of the parties have passed on. pierce marshall and anna nicole smith. p.m.'s estate (his wife in charge) is pressing on. a.n.s.'s estate can continue the fight as well.

Has her will been posted anywhere online? I’d be curious to read it.

Will of Vickie Lynn Marshall. (PDF)