Dannielynn Birkhead named sole heir of Anna Nicole Smith estate

03/04/2008 at 07:32 PM ET

If the ongoing legal dispute between the estate of Anna Nicole Smith and the estate of her late husband J. Howard Marshall is ever resolved in favor of the former Playboy Playmate, it is her 18-month-old daughter Dannielynn Hope Marshall Birkhead who stands to inherit the multi-million dollar fortune at stake. 

The baby was officially named the sole heir of Anna Nicole’s estate earlier today, after Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff approved a request by Howard K. Stern — acting in his capacity as executor — for such a finding.  The legal determination is significant in that Anna Nicole’s last will was drafted five years prior to Dannielynn’s birth and used wording that made her intentions with regard to an heir unclear, particularly in light of the surprise death of her 20-year-old son Daniel in September 2006. 

Judge Beckloff additionally established a trust on Dannielynn’s behalf, naming Howard and Dannielynn’s father Larry Birkhead as co-trustees.  Said an attorney for Howard following the ruling,

We and Mr. Stern always believed that Anna Nicole never intended to disinherit her daughter.  I’m pleased to say this chapter in the saga is closed.

Dannielynn was the only child for Anna Nicole — who died in February 2007 at the age of 39 — and Larry, an ex-boyfriend.


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Colleen on

It might turn out that there is NO fortune after all. It hasn’t been decided if Anna Nicole has rights to Marshall’s estate, as his family keeps contesting that.

Sarah’s note: That is true, I think that’s why Missy started the article with ‘if.’. But at least now, what money Anna did have from her own ventures, is set up in a trust for Dannielynn.

WOW on


I’m pleased this part of the saga has been settled. Of course Anna would have wanted Dannielynn to be the heir to her estate. (regardless of what it’s worth)

Hea on

“Dannielynn was the only child for Anna Nicole — who died in February 2007 at the age of 39 — and Larry, an ex-boyfriend.”

Aren’t you forgetting her son? This sentence looks weird.

Sarah’s note: She’s saying Dannielynn was the only child Anna Nicole and Larry had together, and Daniel was mentioned previously in the post.

Kat on

this is wonderful… Howard is continuing to do right by Anna and Dannilynn.

Of course Anna would have updated her will, but her death prevented that.

Belicoso on

I am with Colleen on this one. It is entirely likely that even as heir to Anna Dannielynn will not be due anything from the Marshall estate. In fact a lot of the legal analysts I see on news programs confirm this view.