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20 August 2019 | Comment | Article by Roman Kubiak TEP

Reports reveal Jeffrey Epstein made will two days before suicide

The recent revelations that disgraced former financier, Jeffrey Epstein, made a will two days before his suicide is likely to leave many asking questions. None more so than the potential victims of the charges for which he is awaiting trial.

It’s reported that Epstein’s estate was worth more than $577m (£475m) and that, under his will, he placed his holdings into an offshore trust, The 1953 Trust.

The will, it’s reported, doesn’t name any beneficiaries. That’s because the ultimate intended beneficiaries are likely to be named in the trust deed, as opposed to the will.

Trusts can be used for securing and protecting family assets and providing for loved ones without giving them total access to all the estate. But they can also be seen as cynical attempts to move assets away from those who may have a legitimate claim on them, for instance creditors, spouses or civil partners in divorce and dissolution cases or, as some will speculate may be the case here, victims of abuse.

However, in many offshore jurisdictions it’s possible to challenge both the terms of a will and/or a trust and to make claims against either.

For more information about the issues raised in this blog please speak to a member of our contested wills, trusts and estates or sexual abuse team.

Author bio

Roman Kubiak TEP


Roman Kubiak is a Partner and Head of the market leading Private Wealth Disputes team.

He advises across the whole spectrum of private wealth disputes, with a particular focus on high value, complex and cross-border disputes including: trust disputes, breach of trust claims and applications to remove trustees; will disputes, particularly those with an international element; claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975; and claims for equitable relief under proprietary estoppel, constructive trusts and resulting trusts.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


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