Timing Is Everything in the Benoit Inheritance Case

Ballard added that there were specific reasons that led the medical examiner to believe that Nancy's murder had occurred hours before her son's death.

"It was primarily the state of decomposition of the bodies," that determined the time of deaths, Ballard told ABC News. "The mother's body had begun to turn black and there were flies and larva around. The little boy showed no such signs of decomposition, really."

With Autopsies Come Uncertainty

As important as it is for both sides of Benoit's family to know exactly what happened inside the mansion, forensic experts told ABC News that it's just not that simple.

Because of external factors, a victim's time of death is never certain, they say.

"[Autopsies] still defy precise determination by forensic pathologists," said Dr. Cyril H. Wecht, a forensic pathologist. "When you talk about determining time of death, to a great extent we aren't much more advanced now than we were 100 years ago."

"When you have deaths that occur within a relatively short period of time you have to be very careful in trying to determine who might have died first because there are variables," said Wecht. When determining the presumed time of death, "body mass, an adult versus a child, an obese corpulent person in contrast to a slender one, and the presence of some kinds of pre-existing disease processes can even have some bearing."

Because investigators found the bodies days after they are presumed to have been killed, the less certain they can be about Nancy's and Daniel's times of death, said Wecht.

Authorities also reported that Nancy and Daniel were found in two separate rooms, which Wecht said may have affected how the bodies decomposed, depending on differing room temperatures.

Millions May Remain Unclaimed for Years

While lawyers representing both Nancy's family and Benoit's filed a joint motion in the Fayette County Superior Court last week to determine who died first, the proceedings are sure to get complicated.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 28, but lawyers say it's unlikely much will be decided about the fate of the estate.

In the meantime, both sides of the family remain certain that they are the rightful heirs of Benoit's estate.

"Michael Benoit is interested in making sure his grandchildren are taken care of. He has no other interest, and he isn't going to get anything out of this," said Ichter. "He feels a great deal of compassion for Nancy's family and understands this has been a tragedy for them as well."

Decker echoed similar sentiments on behalf on Nancy's family, and told ABC News that they just want the estate to end up in the hands of its legal owner.

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