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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "will"

Epstein’s will: Last-minute attempt to keep $577M+ from his victims?

Westlake Legal Group je-1 Epstein’s will: Last-minute attempt to keep $577M+ from his victims? will trust The Blog plaintiffs lawsuits Jeffrey Epstein estate

Lotsa luck with that one, Jeffrey. Jeffrey Epstein’s will has been picked up by several media outlets this morning, showing the predatory pedophile’s vast wealth and possibly his last-ditch effort to block his victims from justice. The will signed just two days before Epstein checked out transferred all of his assets into a trust, which will complicate attempts by plaintiffs to sue the estate for damages.

NBC News reports that Epstein stiffed his brother Mark, but that’s not entirely clear. For that matter, neither is the full value of the estate:

The New York Post got it first and has a copy embedded in its report.

The 66-year-old former hedge-fund manager was worth $577,672,654, or about $18 million more than he previously stated in court papers while futilely trying to land bail on federal sex-trafficking charges, the new documents show.

He put all of his holdings in a trust, called The 1953 Trust, after the year he was born.

“It’s done that way for privacy reasons,’’ a city estate lawyer told The Post. “It’s pretty boiler-plate. It’s what we call a ‘pour-over will,’ which means everything pours over to a trust. …

There are no details on the trust’s beneficiaries. The court papers note that Epstein’s only potential heir was his brother, Mark Epstein. But the will adds that Mark only had a claim to his brother’s extensive holdings if Jeffrey hadn’t left behind the document.

The details of the The 1953 Trust, the instrument created by Epstein and his attorneys last week, have not been made fully public. That’s by design; a private trust does not require the same level of public exposure that a normal estate does in probate. Mark Epstein is specifically named as heir in the new will but without any direct bequests. However, he might be one of the trustees of the estate, which would give him broad discretion over the use of its assets; he could also be a beneficiary, which would have access to assets in the manner set up by the trust. Plus, as the New York Times reports, the trustees are in position to benefit if a court strikes down the trust:

The document, first reported on by the New York Post, stipulates that if The 1953 Trust is found to be ineffective, his estate should be divided among its trustees, who are not named in the will.

Jeffrey probably knew better than to cut his brother fully out of the estate, which would open up a legal challenge that could tie the trust up for years. Mark is likely to be one of the trustees or at least one of the beneficiaries of the trust, if for no other reason than to incentivize his brother not to challenge the trust.

The main reason for creating trusts to receive estates are to avoid taxes, but Epstein likely had other issues on his mind. Rewriting everything to establish this trust just before his suicide seems almost certainly intended to defend against other legal challenges from the victims of his serial predation. Good luck with that, the NYT’s legal analyst says:

While Mr. Epstein bequeathed his entire fortune to The 1953 Trust and its unidentified trustees, the future of his wealth remains in limbo.

One of Mr. Epstein’s accusers, Jennifer Araoz, sued his estate last week, and his wealth may not be able to pass into the trust until that suit is resolved. More lawsuits also are expected.

“The assets of the will cannot be distributed to any beneficiaries, including a trust, until any creditors, including victims who are owed damages or restitution, have collected what they are owed,” Mr. Goodman said. “Who determines what they are owed is a court of law.”

Trusts are not magical safe zones, although they’re as close as Epstein was likely to manage. It might complicate matters for these plaintiffs, but no court is going to rule Epstein’s estate off limits for damages and restitution merely because he created a trust in prison. The trustees of the estate may end up working for a plaintiff class for the next few decades, and that’s probably a best-case scenario.

The post Epstein’s will: Last-minute attempt to keep $577M+ from his victims? appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group je-1-300x153 Epstein’s will: Last-minute attempt to keep $577M+ from his victims? will trust The Blog plaintiffs lawsuits Jeffrey Epstein estate   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Report: Epstein signed will just two days before his death

Westlake Legal Group je-2 Report: Epstein signed will just two days before his death will trust The Blog suicide prison mcc epstein death beneficiary

If only there had been some sign, some clue, that Epstein had been suicidal. Besides the fact that he’d tried to kill himself recently once before, I mean.

Oh, and the fact that he had his lawyers bring him a will to sign 48 hours before he hanged himself.

Besides those, I mean.

And so a case already littered with mysteries faces the most momentous mystery of all: Who’s the new lucky owner of a painting of Bill Clinton in a dress?

Jeffrey Epstein’s will has been filed in the US Virgin Islands, and it shows that he signed it Aug. 8 — two days before he hanged himself in his Manhattan jail cell, according to court papers exclusively obtained by The Post on Monday…

The former hedge-fund manager put all of his holdings in a trust, called The 1953 Trust in court papers, after the year he was born…

There are no details on the trust’s beneficiaries. The court papers note that Epstein’s only potential heir was his brother, Mark Epstein. But the will adds that Mark only had a claim to his brother’s extensive holdings if Jeffrey hadn’t left behind the document.

This may be the strongest evidence yet that his death really was a suicide. How many people outside his legal team even knew that he’d signed a new will shortly before his death? Do the beneficiaries of his “1953 Trust” even know that they’re beneficiaries? The will is proof, in case the previous suicide attempt wasn’t enough, that Epstein was thinking about death in the small window of time before his demise. You can still maintain a murder theory here if you like — “He knew he was being targeted for assassination and wanted his affairs in order” — but the timing is quite a coinkydink.

Occam’s Razor: He was preparing to check out.

It makes me wonder whether his lawyers knew, or at least suspected, that he was planning to off himself. To hear them tell it the answer is no, that Epstein allegedly went as far as to say “I’ll see you Sunday” to one during their final meeting. But a previous suicide attempt *and* a request for a revised will are big clues to overlook, and he’d have an obvious incentive to pretend to be in good spirits (“see you Sunday”) if he was intent on killing himself, namely, avoiding giving MCC a reason to put him back on suicide watch. According to the Times, his mental state had deteriorated somewhat in the days before his death:

But in his final days, Mr. Epstein’s efforts to lessen the misery of incarceration seemed to be faltering.

He was seldom bathing, his hair and beard were unkempt and he was sleeping on the floor of his cell instead of on his bunk bed, according to people at the jail.

The wing he was in is known for being infested with roaches and rats “and inmates often have to navigate standing water — as well as urine and fecal matter — that spills from faulty plumbing.” He was sufficiently afraid of being attacked by other inmates that he was reportedly paying protection money to multiple people by placing funds in several prisoners’ commissary accounts. As for how he might have known that the coast was clear for a new suicide attempt:

Mr. Epstein was housed in one of a handful of cells in 9 South where inmates could peer out of their small windows and down onto the staff members stationed at the guard desk, according to a prison official. He might have been able to see whether the guards were asleep, the official said.

I continue to find it hard to explain why a guy who had eluded serious criminal trouble for decades and was litigating the question of whether his previous plea deal with the feds barred a second prosecution would give up in the earliest stages of this legal battle, but maybe Epstein’s lawyers had a hard reality check with him at some point. E.g., “Jeff, we’re going to lose on this double jeopardy matter. And there won’t be any sweetheart deal this time. The public’s in a frenzy. Even if you have information on other high-profile predators, they can never let you out as part of a deal.” Maybe Epstein digested that, realized that he’d spend the rest of his life in fear of being killed by an inmate, and the weight of it coupled with the dreary conditions of his incarceration finally made him snap.

In any case, I will shed no tears. In lieu of an exit question, read this other story at the New York Post today about a “birthday gift” Epstein once received from a buddy in France, according to Virginia Giuffre. Can you guess what it is?

The post Report: Epstein signed will just two days before his death appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group je-2-300x153 Report: Epstein signed will just two days before his death will trust The Blog suicide prison mcc epstein death beneficiary   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com