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Bobbi Kristina's death raises trust administration questions

A lot of difficult questions often follow a tragedy. They can include questions about how a particular incident occurred and why. Often, they also include questions about how a deceased person's estate should be handled.

The tragedy surrounding the death of Bobbi Kristina Brown -- daughter of famed musical artists Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston -- has led to many of these questions. Six months ago, Bobbi Kristina was found unconscious in her bathtub, and she never recovered. Her death occurred just three years after her mother also drown in a bathtub.

When Houston died, Bobbi Kristina was left all of her estimated $20 million estate. The estate was left in a trust for Bobbi Kristina. In an effort to protect the inheritance, Bobbi Kristina received 10 percent of the estate's value when she turned 21-years-old. She was due for another portion of the estate when she turned 25. The remainder of the estate was to be distributed when she turned 30.

Sadly, Bobbi Kristina was only 22-years-old when she passed away. Now, the court system must determine who is entitled to the remainder of Houston's estate. Reports claim that Houston's mother and brothers may have been listed as beneficiaries in the event of Bobbi Kristina's death. Some have also speculated that Bobby Brown may be entitled to some of his daughter's estate.

Additionally, Bobbi Kristina publically claimed to be married. However, no proof of marriage has been presented. But, this could add a wrinkle to the already complicated trust administration.

The complicated and emotional issue will now make its way through the courts. The trustee will no doubt have to work hard to protect the estate and the potential inheritance. In these situations, Michigan residents need to try to put their emotions aside in order to understand their legal rights. However, this may be easier said than done.

Source: USA Today, "Who will inherit Whitney Houston's millions?," Maria Puente, July 29, 2015

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