Those with considerable means should establish solid estate plans to specify how they want their assets distributed upon their passing. Unfortunately, not all affluent people choose to create even a basic will, which can cause a host of problems as loved ones, executors and others try to close their vast estates. Nowhere is this more apparent than in a case involving the sizeable estate left by a tech mogul after his untimely passing last year.
The estate in question
Last year, tech mogul Tony Hsieh died as a result of injuries he suffered in a house fire. Hsieh was the founder of the popular shopping website, Zappos, and his estate was valued at around $523 million. Hsieh was only 47 when he died and left no will, trust or any other estate planning documents.
Since his death, numerous claimants have come forward trying to get their share of the mogul’s vast fortune. The largest claim comes from Hsieh’s long-time personal assistant and close friend, whose claims amounts to more than $90 million. Several others have made claims on the estate as well, including companies and private individuals.
Estate litigation unavoidable?
Considering the number of claimants and the amounts they seek to receive, coupled with the fact that Hsieh left no will or other estate planning documents, estate litigation is likely inevitable for those involved. Experts following the case state that the litigation could drag out and last for a long time as the courts try to resolve the many claims that have come against the estate. As such, those seeking a piece of Hsieh’s proverbial pie will want to work closely with an experienced estate litigation attorney to increase their chances for a successful outcome.