Anna Nicole Smiths estate

Anna Nicole Smiths estate

By: Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, JD

Anna Nicole Smith court battles over her interest in billionaire J. Howard Marshall II’s estate may continue despite the fact that J. Howard’s son, E. Pierce Marshall, died last year. His widow is continuing his side of the court battle, against Ms. Smith. The Supreme Court held that the general rule, which says that state courts have final say on probate and will contest matters, did not apply, because a bankruptcy issue, normally disputed in federal courts, was involved. The bankruptcy judge could still continue to hear the case. If Anna Nicole’s estate ultimately receives an award, presumably her daughter Dannielynn will benefit, but a paternity suit might be necessary to determine who her father, and perhaps guardian, will be.

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