According to reports, a second will has now been filed for the court to consider in the ongoing case of a wealthy Staten Island man who died, leaving a $40 million estate without apparently having heirs. The 97-year-old man’s wife predeceased him, and they had no children.
Another will that had been filed in the case was thrown out of court and dismissed. Now, an attorney representing a woman who died in 1999 and her estate has come forward with a new will for the court to consider. That woman’s caregiver of more than 20 years is the sole beneficiary of her estate.
Reportedly, the man and the woman had been lovers during World War II, until she was sent to Siberia by the Russians and he was sent to a concentration camp by the Nazis. She reportedly had been pregnant with his child but lost the baby in Siberia. Her caregiver reportedly found a will containing a letter, partially written in Polish, that was sent to the woman in 1987 by the man. In the letter, the man allegedly wrote that he was leaving all of his fortune to the woman due to their being separated by war and her losing their child. It is unclear whether the man behind the first will is intending to file an appeal or not. After taxes, the deceased man’s fortune is currently valued at $29 million.
When a person dies, leaving an estate behind with no valid will, the probate process will include trying to find any potential heirs. Without a will and other estate planning tools, the decedent’s estate could be subject to taxes that may have been avoided with the appropriate documents.
Source: SI LIVE, “What’s next? Fight for S.I. millionaire’s fortune shifts to 2nd will,” Mira Wassef, Nov. 23, 2015.