Bobbi Kristina Brown, the 22 year old daughter of Whitney Houston died yesterday according to sources close to her. The dilemmas surrounding her death, her estate, and her mother's estate will be the focus of much media attention in the next few months.
Had Bobbi lived to reach 30 years of age, she would have inherited the bulk of her mother's estates, which was said to have been worth $20 million dollars. Since Whitney Houston's will had a step-distribution provision, Bobbi would have inherited 10% when she reached 21. The Will of Houston also states that if Bobbi dies before she reaches 30, then the remaining part of the estate (90%) goes to several people, including Whitney Houston's parents, siblings, and her then husband, Bobby Brown. Houston and Bobby Brown divorced in 2005, so it is unlikely that he will inherit any part of Whitney's estate as most states eliminate an ex-spouse from inheriting from a will. In this case, the will predates the divorce, so Bobby Brown may get nothing from Whitney's estate, but there is a twist because he, as a father, may indirectly receive Bobbi Kristina's 10% from her estate.
As to what happens to the 10% that Bobbi Kristina received from her mother's estate at 21? That 10% goes to Bobbi Kristina's estate. If Bobbi Kristina had a will, her will would dictate what happens to what she has already received from her mother's estate. If she is married to Nick Gordon and died without a will, the entire picture can change. Where there is no will, normally, the parent (Bobby Brown) and the spouse would inherit. Here, you may see a dispute about whether Bobbi Kristina is married. So, it is to be seen as to whether a will of Bobbi Kristina will surface, and whether there is a valid marriage in existence.
Lessons learned: Update your will and trust after marriage, divorce, when you have a new child, and when you inherit from someone else's estate.
Mina Sirkin is a Media Advisor regarding Trusts, Estates and Conservatorships. She has been an expert for CNN, KTLA, MSNBC, NPR, InsideEdition and E!Online. Mina Sirkin is a Certified Specialist Attorney in Probate, Estate Planning, and Trust Law in Los Angeles, California. Tel.: 818.340.4479. Email: MinaSirkin@gmail.com.