Whitney Houston's Estate Expected to Get Boost After Death, But Less Than Michael Jackson

Share
Copy

"I don't think there will be any reason not to file the complaint," Blaney said. "I can only tell you there's a whole lot of things going on with the folks right now in regards to her manager and family members."

Blaney said he was "devastated" by the loss of Houston, who was a "tremendous" person.

"I always thought it was sad that people would reach out to make her life more difficult than it needed to be," he said. "I always found her to be a sensitive and nice person and whatever issues she might have had, I can't comment. I don't know them."

Blaney represented Houston to dismiss the charge of drug possession in her suitcase at an airport in Hawaii in 2000.

"I think she became an easy target for tabloids," he said. "There were instances that were plainly unfair in tabloid editions of her just to sell newspapers."

Barbara Houston, who declined to comment, continues to reside in the property in Fort Lee, N.J., her attorney, Gilberto Garcia, said.

"It's a sad thing what happened for everyone involved," Garcia said of Whitney Houston's death. "She was a great figure and a great voice. She was a good daughter to her father."

Garcia said Barbara Houston sent condolences to Houston's attorney.

"My client is quite shaken up by this," Garcia said. "I don't know that the case matters much in comparison to everything that's going on."

Mayoras said he assumes Houston used life insurance of some type to protect her daughter, Bobbi Kristina, regardless of reports of any financial struggles.

The state of the multiple Grammy and Billboard music award winner's finances are unknown at the time of her unexpected death. Her estate will profit from royalties for future sales of her songs, as well as licensing deals for her name, image and likeness.

Ideally, Houston would have set up at least a revocable living trust to provide for her daughter, so she doesn't receive everything at once, Mayoras said.

"Most people with even a modest amount of wealth use trusts to control how and when their money is passed," he said. "For example, we would hope Whitney would have spaced out Bobbi Kristina's distributions over time, so that she would receive a percentage as she reaches certain ages. Most 18-year-olds are not mature enough to handle a substantial inheritance."

Ideally, Whitney would have named a trust as the beneficiary of any life insurance, Mayoras said. Otherwise the money would go directly to the named beneficiary, possibly Bobbi-Kristina.

Depending on whether updated she updated her documents after her divorce from Bobby Brown, there could be complications if he is named as a beneficiary, Mayoras said.

"Hopefully, she would have taken steps to update her documents to eliminate anything going to Bobby Brown, " Mayoras said, "unless, of course, she wanted him to receive something. But many people don't take the time to update their estate planning documents after a divorce."

Houston did sell a home in Alpharetta, Ga. for $1.19 million in May 2007, shortly after the divorce, for which Houston had received a notice of default. Houston bought the home in 2003 for $1.38 million by taking out a 15-year mortgage for $1.1 million, according to public records. The home was where the 2005 reality television show, "Being Bobby Brown," was filmed. Houston had a county tax lien on the property for $17,644 in December 2005, according to public records.

Houston had a handful of properties that she unloaded or tried to unload recently. She also sold a house in Mendham, N.J. for $940,000 in January 2010. She also listed another home in Mendham for $2.5 million in 2009, Zillow reported. Houston reportedly owned a home in New Bergen, N.J. that she bought in 1989 for $955,000.

ABC News' Kevin Dolak and Ross Eichenholz contributed to this report.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...