It’s now, officially, the Estate Fight That Refuses To Die! The quest for money started by Anna Nicole Smith — the former Playboy Playmate, stripper, TV reality star, and the true love of 89-year old Texas oil tycoon, J. Howard Marshall — is not over. Despite almost 18 years of litigation, two trips to the United States Supreme Court, and untold millions of dollars spent on legal fees, the Anna Nicole Smith case lives on.
Anna Nicole Smith (a/k/a Vickie Lynn Marshall) sued after her elderly husband died, following their 14-month marriage. She was not happy being left out of his massive ($1.6 billion) estate. She blamed one of his sons, Pierce Marshall, who inherited everything.
Anna Nicole Smith Case
The probate case started in Louisiana and then moved to Texas. Smith sued there, but was forced to file bankruptcy in California. When she did, Pierce sued her, filing a claim in bankruptcy court. He claimed Smith defamed him by telling the media he committed fraud in managing his father’s Read more...
No, it can’t be … has the 15-year saga started by Anna Nicole Smith, as she tried to get money from the estate of her deceased husband, really come to an end? The court battle involved the fortune owned by the late J. Howard Marshall, II, who was a 90-year-old Texas oil billionaire before he passed away in 1995.
The case started in Texas probate court, moved to bankruptcy court in California, traveled up and down the federal court system through numerous appeals, hearings, and even two trips to the United States Supreme Court.
The case survived the death of both people who were fighting — Anna Nicole Smith and her step-son (who was 27 years older than she was). But the case is alive no more. Anna Nicole’s quest for a bequest has failed.
That’s right, apparently love doesn’t conquer all. We all know that Anna Nicole must have been deeply in love with Howard Marshall (whom she met while stripping) despite their age difference of more than 60 Read more...
It has to rank as one of the craziest, lengthiest and most-watched probate litigation court cases of all time. It officially started as Vicki Lynn Marshall (a/k/a Anna Nicole Smith) vs. E. Pierce Marshall (son and sole beneficiary of the late oil tycoon, J. Howard Marshall).
Originally, the Smith team won an $88 million against her “step-son”, Pierce, but that victory was taken away by the Court of Appeals, which ended the fight. That is, it was over until the United States Supreme Court ruled in Smith’s favor and reinstated the case.
Then Pierce died, followed by Anna Nicole Smith. But, just because they both passed away doesn’t mean the fighting stopped! Their two estates have continued to battle over the billions left behind by Smith’s 90-year-old husband, 15 years after he died.
Then, this past March, the Court of Appeals again threw out the case (on a different legal ground). Once again Smith’s estate, with the infamous Howard K. Stern at the helm, asked the Supreme Court to step Read more...
Probate disputes over whether a will or trust was valid, or instead was signed at at time when the person was mentally incompetent or subject to undue influence, are common. They’re also very emotional and difficult for everyone involved. The Anna Nicole Smith case — the Granddaddy of all probate disputes — illustrates this more than any other.
I discussed the case in this article, including how the estate executor/lawyer/former boyfriend, Howard K. Stern, not only lost a request he filed in the federal Court of Appeals on behalf of Smith’s Estate, but how he was charged criminally with conspiring to provide Anna Nicole with the prescription drugs that killed her.
In Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights, which I wrote with Danielle Mayoras, we discuss the case at length (along with dozens more) so people can learn from celebrity errors, protect their heirs, and know their legal rights if they find themselves in a family fortune fight.
But a new twist on the case surfaced recently. While this Read more...