Following the unfortunate death of Bobbi Kristina Brown, the 22-year-old daughter of the late Whitney Houston, questions regarding the future of Houston’s $20 million dollar estate have surfaced.
At the time of her death, Bobbi Kristina had received only the first payment from Houston’s estate, which had a staged distribution plan which paid Bobbi Kristina certain amounts at certain ages. Houston’s estate plan stated that if Bobbi Kristina were to die unwed, without children, and without a will of her own, that the remaining estate is to be divided among Houston’s living relatives (her mother and brothers).
However, there are others who may step forward to make a claim on the estate.
Among the possibilities is Bobbi Kristina’s father (and Houston’s ex-husband), Bobby Brown. While Brown was listed in Houston’s will, his bequest was nullified because of their divorce. According to probate law, an ex-spouse is automatically disinherited from a will made during the marriage. Also in question is Bobbi Kristina’s partner, Nick Gordon. Bobbi Kristina is alleged to have referred to Gordon as her husband, though it is still unclear whether the couple was actually wed. If they were, Gordon may be entitled to a claim of her estate.
While the most likely outcome here is that Houston’s estate plan will be upheld, it is clear that broader protections against claims could have been included that may have avoided the current situation. Now it will likely be a while before anyone can benefit from her estate.
Are you worried about what will happen to your family and your estate when you pass away? If so, talk with us about a Family Wealth Planning Session, where we can identify the best strategies for you to provide for and protect the financial security of your loved ones and avoid costly disputes.