The will details almost $578 million in wealth, to be assigned to an apparently newly created trust, not to his family.
By Sarah Fitzpatrick and Alex JohnsonThe financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein executed a new will just two days before he was found dead in his New York City jail cell this month, according to probate documents obtained by NBC News.
The documents, a petition for probate of the will and an enumeration of the estate's total property, were filed Thursday in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Epstein had a home. Two witnesses signed affidavits declaring that Epstein "signed it willingly" and that he was "of sound mind and under no constraint or undue influence" at the time. The estate details wealth of $577,672,654 — $18,551,700 more than Epstein told a judge he had when he unsuccessfully sought bail last month on federal sex trafficking charges. The new property listing includes an entry for that amount described as "aviation assets, automobiles and boats."
Jeffrey Epstein in a photograph taken for the New York sex offender registry in 2017.New York State Division of Criminal Justice via Reuters - file
The final amount of the estate remains undetermined, as it lists "fine arts, antiques, collectibles, valuables & other personal property" yet to be appraised, without subtracting any potential debts and claims that aren't yet known.
Epstein had a brother, Mark Epstein, who the will notes would have inherited the estate had Jeffrey Epstein died not having a will.
But the new will leaves nothing to Mark Epstein — instead, it bequeaths everything to a trust that probate documents indicate was created on Aug. 8, the same day the will was signed.
Nothing is known about the trust, although its name, The 1953 Trust, could refer to the year Epstein was born.
Epstein had been sued by multiple women accusing him of sexual abuse. Those claims will now likely be against the trust as the sole inheritor of Epstein's estate; several alleged victims have already named the estate in new lawsuits filed in New York. In a statement, representatives of the estate told NBC News that "appropriate procedures" would be put in place to ensure that "the interests of potential creditors and beneficiaries alike are resolved in compliance with the laws of the United States Virgin Islands." It said potential creditors and claimants would be notified later.
Attached to the probate request is a copy of Epstein's death transcript filed with New York City health department, listing the immediate cause of death as "pending further study." The chief medical examiner later determined that Epstein died of suicide by hanging.
Jeffrey Epstein's residence on the Caribbean island he owned, Little St. James.NBC News
Epstein's attorneys said last week that they weren't satisfied with the conclusion and that they intended to conduct their own investigation into "the circumstances and cause of Mr. Epstein's death."