A legal fight over Jeffrey Epstein's multi-million dollar estate could drag on for years
- A legal fight over the estate of Jeffery Epstein, who died by apparent suicide on Saturday while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges, could carry on for years.
- It is unclear if Epstein had a will. He was not married and had no children, and his only known relatives include his brother, Mark, and a New York-based niece and nephew.
- A document filed last month by Epstein's lawyers listed his total assets at about $559 million.
- Lawyers for several women who accused Epstein of sexual abuse told Reuters that they plan to file lawsuits against his estate.
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Epstein, who died by apparent suicide on Saturday while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges, had no children and wasn't married. It is unclear if he had a will, and the details of what will happen to his multi-million dollar estate remain unknown.
Epstein's known relatives include his brother, Mark, and a New York-based niece and nephew.
A document filed last month by Epstein's lawyers listed his total assets at about $559 million.
The disgraced financier's estate included a $77 million townhouse on Manhattan's Upper East Side, the island of Little St. James in the US Virgin Islands, a ranch in New Mexico, and homes in Palm Beach, Florida, and Paris, France.
What happens next could be "incredibly complicated," David Ring, a Los Angeles-based attorney who represents victims of sexual abuse, told Bloomberg.
"It's going to be a lot of different folks who are going to be battling over this estate and these assets and I hope the victims come out on top. I think they deserve it. But I don't think the estate is just going to hand it over to them," he said.
Lawyers for several women who accused Epstein of sexual abuse told Reuters that they plan to file lawsuits against his estate.
LA attorney Lisa Bloom, who represents two women, told Reuters that she and her legal team "intend to promptly file those civil claims," which they held off filing as federal prosecutors pursued charges against Epstein.
"Give his entire estate to his victims. It is the only justice they can get. And they deserve it. And on behalf of the Epstein victims I represent, I intend to fight for it," Bloom said on Twitter.
New York lawyer Roberta Kaplan said she hopes to file a lawsuit on behalf of a woman described in the indictment against Epstein as a minor victim.
If a will for Epstein is found, an executor will be named to divide up his estate, Bloomberg reported. The process will be overseen by the Superior Court in the Virgin Islands and the Surrogate's Court in New York. In Florida, a will has to be filed in court within 10 days of receiving notice of death.
Prosecutors could try to seize individual assets through a civil forfeiture proceeding if courts determine a property was used to facilitate crime, Cohen Levin, a former federal prosecutor, told Bloomberg.
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