Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Drama Intensifies: Epstein Made a Will and a Trust Days Before He Died

EpsteinJeffrey Epstein, the 66-year-old former hedge-fund manager indicted for federal sex trafficking charges that killed himself this past week, signed a will a mere two days before he hung himself. The will was entered into court on August 15 in the US Virgin Islands where Epstein owned two isles, along with his death certificate from August 11, just a day after his death and before his death was ruled a suicide on August 16.

The will's executors  are two longtime Epstein employees: lawyer Darren Indyke and businessman Richard Kahn. The will both receive $250,000 plus "reasonable expensive" for their work executing the will, which also includes  "investigating potential debts and claims of the Estate and at this time they are unknown.’’ . The document was witnessed by Mariel Colon Miro, a criminal defense attorney who represented drug pin Joaquin “El Chapo’’ Guzman and allegedly gave his wife a cell phone to contact Guzman and Gulnora Tali, who is also an attorney with a private practice.

The tricky part is that Epstein also created a pour-over trust, called the 1953 Trust, that transferred all of his assets - all $578 million - also on August 8th. The trust is a private document that does not name the individual trustees, just saying that the trustees will receive his entire estate. The will names Epstein's only heir as his brother, Mark Epstein. The trust could make collecting damages for lawsuits by sexual assault victims more difficult.

The two documents values his estate similar to the unsuccessful bail request, except that it includes a list of “Aviation Assets, Automobiles and Boats,’’ a collection worth $18,551,700, and an art collection that needs to be appraised.

See Epstein Created Trust With $578 Million Days Before Suicide, MSN, August 20, 2019; see also Priscilla DeGregory & Kate Sheehy, Jeffrey Epstein Signed Will Just Two Days Before Suicide, New York Post, August 19, 2019.

Special thanks to Laura Galvan (Attorney, San Antonio, Texas) and Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing these articles to my attention.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2019/08/the-drama-intensifies-epstein-made-a-will-and-a-trust-days-before-he-died.html

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Comments

Gerry, thank you for covering this issue so closely. Will you be posting the link to the public documents filed?

Posted by: Randy Daniels | Aug 21, 2019 6:14:30 AM

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