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Lessons from the Jeffrey Epstein Estate: Creditors First

A significant legal battle could hold more information for others approaching the estate planning process. The last will and testament of Jeffery Epstein was dated August 8th, just a couple of days before he was found dead in his jail cell. 

Over $577 million in total assets, including collectibles and fine arts are expected to be inside his estate and the estate shares information about the creation of a trust to hold that property. When managing anyone’s estate, expenses and debts are typically paid first, followed by spousal transfers and charitable transfers once appropriate estate taxes have been paid. This particular estate is likely to be embattled in litigation for a long period of time to come given that creditors will be first in line.

This includes any plaintiffs who received a judgement in their favor against the estate will be eligible to get paid prior to any property passing through to the heirs. Creditors have to be satisfied first before any meaningful assets can be moved to a remainder person. Five different properties were included inside the will of Jeffery Epstein across Paris, the Virgin Islands, New Mexico, and Florida.

Depending on whether or not his estate qualifies for the state level tax, this could lead to considerable revenue for New York. If you are concerned as you approach the estate planning process and want to consider steps in asset protection planning that could add a layer of risk mitigation in the future, schedule a consultation with a trusted attorney today.

 



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