Thursday, February 08, 2007


Legal Ramifications of Anna Nicole Smith's death--This is assuming CA law controls which is really uncertain right now.
#1 If Anna died without a will, then everything would go to her daughter, UNLESS she and Howard K Stern were legally married.

#2 If she and Howard K Stern were married, and there was not a will, then one half of the estate would go to Howard and the other half to her daughter.

Here are some possible issues-

#1 If Howard believed he married Anna Nicole Smith, but in actuality did not, he could still be afforded the rights of what is known as a putative spouse.

#2 Inherited property is separate property which means that even if she was legally married, the money Anna was receiving from her deceased husband can all be left to her daughter if she provided for her daughter in the will.

#3 Mr. Birkhead is NOT entitled to any money even if he is the father, and would probably not be able to touch any of his daughter's money except for Health, Education and Welfare. HEW would be her necessary expenses. In this kind of situation, that money will be tremendous and Mr. Birkhead will no doubt live large, but HE will not actually own anything.

#4 Even IF Mr. Birkhead is judged to be the father, he would not automatically gain custody of his daughter. The court would decide who would be the best parent of those who petition the court.

#5 Her son's death should not have any effect on this proceeding.

#6 The money she is going to get from her deceased husband is still in litigation. The fact that her adversary in that proceeding is also dead will mean that it will be an estate vs estate battle.


DISCLAIMER - The Information is not intended to constitute, and does not constitute, legal advice. Moreover, the Information is not intended to constitute, and does not constitute, a solicitation for the formation of an attorney-client relationship; no attorney-client relationship is created through your use or viewing of the Blog. Anyone reading the Information should not act on it without first seeking legal counsel. Further, the Information is general in nature, and may not apply to particular factual or legal circumstances.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who cares that the fat junkie is dead? YAWN

ms_wonderland said...

That ceremony on the boat in the Bahamas was a weird thing. It was said that it was not a legal marriage ceremony, more a personal commitment. Very strange with the timing - ANS was barely out of childbirth, so what was the rush?

The Bahamas are a British colony, and British law states that a woman's husband is the legal father of any children born to her while they are married. If they married (legally) before the baby was born, the other guy would have little chance of getting custody of the baby.

If Stern had any nous, there would have been a legal ceremony at some point, followed by a new will. If he's any kind of lawyer, Stern should have done a new will following the birth of the baby and the death of her son. I suspect we will soon find out.

Anonymous said...

I love the disclaimer! Well done! Excellent summary of the law and application to the facts.

Anonymous said...

ENT L - thanks for taking down that picture, it's very appreciated.

hez said...

I concur about the picture that was taken down. It creeped me out. Thanks, Ent.

serenegab said...

Yes thank you for taking it down. A touch of class in what is sure to be a media feeding frenzy. Pay it forward. For what it's worth, I'm not all that sure it was real. Something strikes a chord and I can't quite put my finger on it at this moment but... Anyway, this hotel is actually my children's bathroom pit stop when I drive the the FLA coast to coast trip. It's weird, a weird property and not some place I would ever stay for that reason. It's strange this would be a destination for her, also quite far from any trauma unit from what I remember.

Anonymous said...

Even if Stern married Anna prior to the birth, which I highly doubt (the whole marriage dealio was a farce - who would wanna marry him?), Birkhead can still raise the issue of paternity. There will be DNA tests.


~SisterMaryHotPantz

Anonymous said...

Ok, it's happened. Blind Freddy could have seen it coming.

As long as the child is properly cared for, educated and grows up to be a normal productive person. Then its money well spent.

Let’s hope the press doesn’t throw her mothers actions in this girls face in 15 years time.

borncynic said...

This whole sad affair smells big time. How convinent that the only probable heir is a new-born baby.

Even if it;s an estate vs. estate issue, and even if it takes years, in the end someone stands to live large as the parent and/or guardian of that little girl.

The cynic in me wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Stern and Mr. Birkhead were in cohoots. I'd never quite brought the "competiting suiters" act.

I feel so sorry that innocent little girl. That a history she already has to bear.

Hullabaloo said...

ok seriously, ent lawyer...you and your legalese disclaimer...totally sexy.

keep it coming.

hez said...

ITA hullabaloo... I've been saying that for months. {fans self}

ANS' sister Donna Hogan is on Larry King Live right now saying she will fight against letting Stern raise the baby -- obviously there is a deep well of resentment there. She also believes Birkhead is the real father.

Anonymous said...

Well, the autopsy is tomorrow a.m., so let's hope they don't keep us in suspense too long.

(Have we had reactions yet from Brangelina? I suppose they'll want to adopt. I wonder how they're handling the news?)

Anonymous said...

Now do you believe he is a lawyer?

hez said...

LOL @ 6:51 -- well put. Some of us have never doubted it.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

The issue at the top of the list is whether the cause of action she is pursuing in bankruptcy court against her former stepson (also deceased) survives her death.

The general rule is that personal actions such as actions for personal injury and defamation generally do not. In contrast, contract and property actions generally do. The nuances of how the action are pleaded could resolve the issue.

A related issue of importance is her right of publicity. California gives strong recognition to the right of someone to have pictures taken of them without compensation. This right generally terminates at death, but California specific details could be important since her right of publicity is quite valuable.

Anonymous said...

This whole thing stinks to me. First her son dies with Howard K in the room and now she's dead! It's such a strange coincidence that fingers need to be pointed at Howard K and questions need to be answered.

GGA

spressogrl said...

I have to say that even though this gal was clearly on drugs and quite money hungry, she seemed like such a genuine girl...as if she was just really lost. I am totally thinking OD, due to extreme depression, her sons death and the legal matters. I know I could not have dealt with all of that. As easy as it seems to point the finger at Stern etc, it's just too easy, and that would be just plain idiotic. Look at her behaviour after Daniels death. Who the hell has a ceromony, parties, and maybe even a bit of plastics done? Clearly only someone not in their right mind.

Anonymous said...

I feel sad for Anna Nicole and her life of pain and pills.

I feel worse for her 5 month old daughter who was left behind in another country with some government official for the sole purpose of keeping her away from the U.S. legal system and the man who is likely to be her father.

Maybe Brangelina should adopt this child since greed is overwhelming the involved parties.

Virgo74 said...

I just heard about all of this as I work over night shift and sleep during the day. I am very saddened by the events of today with Anna. I have to agree that drugs played a very big factor in her death. She had demons. First her son, which we never really got the full informaion on his death, which I feel was odd, now her. Who will raise this poor child? Why was she keeping the true father away? I guess it will all come out with the autospy. Condolences go out to the family.

Anonymous said...

I suspect Larry will end up with his daughter and her half of the money and Stern will get half of the money after he's spent the next five years fighting for it.

The comment Larry made to ET (Monday?) about his wanting her to never have the money, the location she died in (USA epecially), and that the baby was not present but Stern was--makes the whole death very suspicious to me.

I'd love to see Stern lose his piece by being convicted of conspiracy to kill her and Daniel.

The sick part of me wonders if Anna wanted to do this--die mysteriously and young while providing for those who "cared" about her. Its very Marilyn, whom Anna adored.

bionic bunny! said...

anon 10.56
you and i are on the same wavelength. some people say there's no such thing as coincidence...
she was obviously (at least sub-consiously) trying to kill herself. she's been so stoned out the last few interviews, and that snake-oil salesman just sits there and shows no emotion. anybody else notice in all the ET etc. shows, he's ALWAYS holding on to her, and the bit where they are showing off the new house, he is actually bracing her from behind to climb the stairs.
if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...

he killed 'em both. hope the baby gets somewhere safe.

supergirl said...

I saw a clip of Anna's mom on Nancy Grace just after Daniel had died. She looked right into the camera and said for Anna to be careful of Howard Stern. He killed Daniel and you may be next.

Eerie.

supergirl said...

One question - how does taking DNA samples from Anna prove the paternity? Would they have to take DNA from Dannielyn?

Anonymous said...

I really feel sorry for this woman. It was obvious that she had a drug problem. This is a very sad situation-- a young woman, surrounded by "yes" people. Nothing good can come from having ALL of your friends on your payroll.

Anonymous said...

Yes Supergirl, DNA will need to be taken from all 4 people involved. Anna, Birkhead, Stern, and the baby.


~SisterMaryHotPantz

Anonymous said...

all this legalese talk is so very sexy.

ent--any comment on the actions taken on behalf of mr. birkhead to acquire anna's dna within the 48 hour timeframe?

Dorothy said...

The disclaimer is sooo sexy.

Anonymous said...

Today Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband stepped up to the plate to say he is Daniellyn's father. But in 2000 he sued Viagra because he said it made him impotent!

Anonymous said...

LOL@ Zsa Zsz's golddigger husband. I hope she divorces his sorry butt!