The Probate Case of Anna Nicole Smith vs. E. Pierce Marshall

It all started when the 91 year old J. Howard Marshall was on his deathbed: his young wife, Anna Nicole Smith filed a suit in Texas against his son, E. Pierce Marshall for intruding with her statuary support. Allegedly, CNN claims J. Howard Marshall met Anna Nicole Smith when she was a stripper a year or two earlier- they were married by the time he was 89 and she was 26. Most of J. Howard's money went into a trust benefit for Pierce that was supposed to take effect upon his death. Therefore, by the time J. Howard passed away, the stage was set for a ten yearlong probate case battle.

Once J. Howard had passed away, Anna Nicole Smith- legally called Vickie Lynne Marshall also included another charge against her former stepson: she claimed what many states validate as "tortious interference with expectancy." Smith's claim was that her former husband had promised what some sources say were half of the 1.6 billion fortunes. Contrary Sources say that she only wanted 3 million dollars that she felt was promised to her from her former husband. Should this be the case, CNN sites that Smith had already received 7 million dollars in the year and 2 months that she had been married to J. Marshall through gifts and money presented to her.

Smith further accused Pierce of unlawful means of keeping her aloof from the estate's value: she proposed that he had defrauded and forged and also accused him of false imprisonment. Then, in a turning of events, Smith also filed for Bankruptcy in the Federal Court in California. In what seemed to many to be a mistake, E. Pierce Marshall filed a counterclaim on Smith's assets, in part due to the damage that she had inflicted upon his reputation when she charged him with defraud and other similar charges which damaged his reputation. In doing so, E. Pierce made an error in which Smith could claim charges against J. Howard's property, and the Federal Court in California ruled in her favor. She was rewarded almost $500 million dollars in October of 2000, which was reduced to $88 million eventually.

Yet, the Texas Probate case reached the opposite ruling in December of 2001. E. Pierce Howard then called into question the probate court's jurisdiction to rule over such proceedings in what was called the "probate exception." After years of battling where the case eventually went into the US Supreme Court, their ruling favored Anna Nicole Smith in 2006, stating the ruling that it was lawful for Smith's case to have been held in the Federal courts of California. It was then a month after this ruling that E. Pierce Howard died of suddenly of an infection. This didn't mean that the battle for the entailment of the estate was over though; E. Pierce Howards wife continued in his stead to fight for her late husband's rights.

Since there were two different rulings in the court, the US Supreme Court sent the case back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the ninth Circuit to decide if the probate Texas ruling or the California Supreme Court ruling would be made the official ruling. Before the case could was finished, Anna Nicole Smith, age 39 was found dead in her Florida hotel room in 2007. Her heir was her baby, Dannielynn. Yet, it was finally ruled that Smith's claim was not validated and with that, in June of 2011, a battle of over ten years had ended and Anna Nicole Smith's reward of 88 million dollars was removed, leaving her heir without any financial revenue in the future.