Paul L. CaronDean
Friday, February 16, 2007
By Paul Caron
The will of Anna Nicole Smith (Vickie Lynn Marshall) is available here. (Hat Tip: David Latt.) Media coverage:
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The will permits removal of the executor for gross negligence. Stern stands to collect $12M in commissions/fees if Smith's estate wins the Marshall litigation. The question is, should he -- and the second-in-line lawyer Rale - be removed from the position? The following suggests incompetence that would justify it:
1. He has been her lawyer since the mid-90s.
2. He is lead executor of the will and is charged with knowledge of its contents.
3. He is charged with knowing his client was pregnant as of approx. Feb. '06.
4. He knew the will EXCLUDED any devise for the future child. He did nothing.
5. In August '06 she moved (with him) to the Bahamas. Changes countries - Stern does nothing about the will
6. The child was born in September. The older son -- the ONLY heir, died 3 days later. Stern does nothing about the will, knowing that the only heir is now dead and that there is a new child (presumably HIS daughter, according to what he says) who is not covered by the will.
Add in the following:
1. He knew there was a paternity contest.
2. Lawyers are supposed to stop being lawyers to clients with whom they are personally involved.
3. If Stern is truthful about the fatherhood, he had a sexual relationship with his client at least as of the time of conception (said to be Jan. '06).
4. If he is lying about the baby, then he compromised the baby of his client by keeping a will that precluded the client's only child from inheriting under an orderly will.
Is there anyone with probate knowledge who might comment on the man's suitability to serve as executor?
Posted by: Allan Kaufman | Feb 17, 2007 12:16:05 PM
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