It Doesn’t Pay to Be a Manipulative, Mean, Nasty Old Man

You’re gonna die anyway.

Anna Nicole’s rival for husband’s fortune dies
E. Pierce Marshall known for taking Playboy Playmate to court over estate
E. Pierce Marshall, who feuded for years with former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith over his father’s oil fortune, has died, his spokesman said Friday. He was 67.

If he’d a just given her $30 million to go away when his father died, he could have enjoyed these past couple years. But, no. He had to have it all.

16 Responses to “It Doesn’t Pay to Be a Manipulative, Mean, Nasty Old Man”

  1. Rob says:

    I think I heard him say, “She’ll get $30 million over my dead body.” or something like that.

  2. Dave E. says:

    I don’t know THS, you may be a little harsh here. I’d say this shows the odds were…uh, stacked against him from the start.

  3. Apart from one that’s six-feet deep, I’ll bet he didn’t come out in the (cough, cough) hole, though!

  4. I actually can understand why he might have objected to giving a golddigging harpy money (principle and all) but sometimes you should just be practical and cut your losses.

  5. Dave J says:

    For the record, Anna Nicole Smith has been a guilty pleasure of mine for a long time, and Pierce Marshall was a schmuck, but I also think he was legally in the right, and that the US Supreme Court opinion that came out of this case was a disaster.

  6. Mike Rentner says:

    geez, the guy just died. Let him rest in peace. It’s bad form to speak ill of the dead for at least a week or two.

  7. Mr. Bingley says:

    Not if you’ve been speaking ill of him while he was alive it ain’t, Mike.

  8. Robert says:

    Not to worry folks. Ever since Marshall won in Texas probate court he has had the money. Ol Anna wasn’t too happy about it, so she kept on suing. Doubt it will make a difference now. Of course you can never take it with you but he got to enjoy it anyway. Thank goodness.
    I had heard there were lots of settlement talk but nothing ever came of it. Maybe she wouldn’t take $30 million. Seems crazy but she kept saying she wanted $500 million.

  9. mojo says:

    Gee, Rich Prick vs, Gold-digging Slut.
    Can I root for injuries?

  10. The problem with mr. Marshall’s approach was two-fold.
    A) Like it or not SHE was his father’s LEGAL SPOUSE, with no pre-nup and legally entitled to something from the estate. Hello?
    B) Instead of just paying her to go away, like she probably would have, he cut her off and took her to court. Okay, fair enough, right? BUT he also falsified and changed documents. I figure he deserved what ever heartburn and wallet pain she caused.

  11. Robert says:

    My guess is you are not aware of this because it varies from state to state and you may not be a lawyer.
    A.) In Texas, a spouse is not automatically entitled to something from the estate. There is no forced heirship. So, Marshall was correct in his approach there.
    B.) She took HIM to court because she did not like the amount that she got and thought she was entitled to more. The document issue is unresolved because 12 Texas jurors said he did NOT do it and the CA judge said he did. So, we are going to have to wait and see what happens.

  12. Wowsers! Really? Thanks hugely for setting me straight. The snippets I’ve read led one to believe that there were such rights as a spouse, so I guess we DO get to wait and see. And did I offer a warm Swill welcome, rude thing that I am? Welcome, Robert!

  13. Dave J says:

    If you really want to split hairs (or split heirs?) there’s no “forced heirship” anywhere in the 49 common-law states. Forced heirship is a civilian concept, so it exists in Louisiana, though to a FAR lesser degree than it used to. What it means is there’s a portion of an estate that CANNOT be transmitted by bequest (i.e., in a will), but must pass to some set group. The Romans originally imposed forced heirship on 1/3 of an estate, but Justinian made it 2/3 and eventually later civil-law jurisdictions made it even more, so there was very little left. That trend changed after the French Revolution and codification, but it’s a concept that’s still very consciously around.
    In the common-law world, however, someone who dies (a decedent) with a will (a decedent who is also a testator) does not usually HAVE “heirs” properly speaking, but “successors.” Such a person would only have heirs if the will (intentionally or otherwise) fails to dispose of the entire estate. Heirs are those who take under intestate succession, the law governing distribution of a decedent’s assets and liabilities in the absence of a will (or of a valid will, obviously).
    Some common-law jurisdictions, but not all, provide for what’s called an elective share: a certain percentage a spouse can choose to take rather than taking under a will, but that’s not forced heirship, because it’s a choice: most obviously, the elective share may be worth more overall, but the will may provide for transmission of individual specific items the electing spouse wants. If Robert says Texas doesn’t have an elective share statute, I have no reason to believe otherwise. I believe the Model Probate Code provides for one, but no state has adopted the entire MPC without modification.
    And, of course, this is all without getting into the mess of pretermitted spouses and pretermitted children (i.e., how to deal with marriages and births that occur AFTER the last valid will was made).

  14. Clear as mud, Dave [8^P. I just can’t believe a spouse would have NO claim to any part of a deceased spouse’s estate, if there is no pre-nup, malfeasence or coercion. How does Texas protect Grannie when Grampa keels over out in the back forty without a will?

  15. Dave J says:

    Trying to be clear again: if Grampa keels over WITHOUT a will in Texas, Grannie should be covered. Under § 38(b) of the Texas Probate Code, if there are no children, she gets all Grampa’s personal property (i.e., everything that isn’t land) and half the real property, with the other half passing to his “heirs-at-law” under the rules of intestate succession; if there are children, she’s still entitled to 1/3 of the personal property (the rest going to the children) and to a life estate in the 1/3 of the real property with a remainder to the children.
    Moreover, Texas is a community property state, so so these rules don’t even apply to anything either of them acquired DURING their marriage, which is the joint property of the marital “community” and thus passes immediately to the surviving spouse outside of probate. That’s true even if there IS a will, because the marital property is joint and so it isn’t part of the estate that the will is capable of devising, i.e., it didn’t belong exclusively to Grampa, so he can’t pass it to someone else. Section 45 of the Texas Probate Code provides that the only exception to this is for any children of the deceased spouse who are NOT children of the surviving spouse, who, if they exist, take half of the community property.
    But if Grampa DID have a will, and left all his money to Anna Nicole Smith, it seems by my reading of Texas law that Grannie is SOL. Now that I have the Texas Probate Code in front of me, it definitely does appear that there’s no elective share statute and, indeed, § 58(b)(1) specifically says that someone who makes a will may disinherit an heir.

  16. Dave J says:

    Oops, please close the link tag after “Texas Probate Code” (and then delete this comment if you want).

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