Even though Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged victims were not aware that he made a deal with prosecutors to avoid a long prison sentence a decade ago, an attorney who is representing some of those individuals just filed court papers that prevent Epstein’s estate from being divided up without the lawyer’s knowledge.
Fort Lauderdale attorney Bradley Edwards submitted the paperwork on Wednesday, although legal proceedings have not yet been filed over Epstein’s fortune.
The financier and former Palm Beach resident was not married and did not have children, although he is survived by a brother, as well as a niece and nephew.
Lisa Bloom, a Los Angeles-based attorney representing another two victims, has also filed a request asking for Epstein’s assets to be frozen.
In a process called a “caveat,” Florida law allows interested parties who want to prevent an estate from being administered without their knowledge to file papers requiring that they be notified when a probate case is actually filed. A judge may not appoint someone to handle the estate until that notification is made.
Epstein reportedly hanged himself in his cell at the Manhattan Correctional Center last Saturday morning.
Although his death ends the criminal case against him, legal proceedings over his fortune, estimated to be at least $500 million, are expected to continue for some time.
Epstein did not declare his Palm Beach home, which he had owned since 1990, as his homestead. Rather, court papers show that he claimed his legal residence was one of two islands that he owned in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He also owned a townhouse in Manhattan that is valued at $77 million, in addition to at least one aircraft.