Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith -- Update

Smith_family Here are some of the recent developments in the Anna Nicole Smith case:

      • Judge Lawrence Korda has ruled that Anna's body must be held for DNA testing to assist in determining the paternity of Dannielynn.  The request was made by one of the four possible fathers, Larry Birkhead.
      • Because Ron Rale and Howard K. Stern claim to be "co-executors" of Anna's estate, it appears she died testate.  The date of will execution will be significant in determining whether Dannielynn will be entitled to share in the estate as a pretermitted child.  It is also possible that Anna made a class gift to her "children" which would encompass Dannielynn.

See Judge orders body held in Anna Nicole Smith case, CNN.com, Feb. 14, 2007.


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Smith's will is posted in its entirety at www.tmz.com. It was signed and attested to on 7/30/01. It indicates her estate is to be distributed to Stern, to be held in trust for her "child", whom the will identifies as Daniel (now deceased). The will also contains a clause indicating she intentionally omitted to provide for other heirs, including other future children.

1. How can Dannielynn be a pretermitted child given the intentional omission?

2. Isn't the gift to Daniel, now deceased, a lapsed gift that falls into the residuary?

3. Since there are no other beneficiaries identified in the will. . . do intestacy rules come into play (i.e., daughter takes all or shares with Stern if he somehow qualifies as a spouse)?

[Questions submitted by an unemployed lawyer (and the questions may shed light on why she is unemployed)]

Posted by: Too Much Time on My Hands | Feb 16, 2007 3:44:34 PM

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