Anna Nicole Smith Baby Inherits Unknown Amount
Ruling today in a celebrity case reminiscent of a law school exam question, a Los Angeles judge has decided that the young daughter of former Playboy bunny and television personality Anna Nicole Smith will inherit her estate, whatever it may prove to be.
Although Smith’s will, drafted before her now 18-month-old daughter was born, gave everything to her son, Daniel, it also said she intended that the assets in trust for him be shared equally if she had future children, reports the Associated Press. Meanwhile, Daniel died, at age 20, three days after Smith’s daughter, Dannielynn, was born in 2006. Smith herself died about five months later, in early 2007, of an accidental prescription drug overdose.
She is perhaps best known as the young wife of an elderly Texas oil billionaire, J. Howard Marshall II. The two married in 1994, when she was 26 and he was 89. He died a little over a year later, and litigation over his estate is still ongoing. If Smith’s estate prevails or a settlement is reached, her daughter could potentially inherit millions, Reuters points out.
The assets that Dannielynn inherits from her mother, as her sole heir, are to be held in trust, with her father, Larry Birkhead, and her mother’s companion at the time of her death, Howard K. Stern, who is a lawyer, acting as co-trustees.
“We and Mr. Stern always believed that Anna Nicole never intended to disinherit her daughter,” said attorney Bruce Ross, who is representing Stern, after today’s court hearing. “I’m pleased to say this chapter in the saga is closed.”