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The executor of O.J. Simpson’s estate, Malcolm LaVergne, has declared his intention to block any disbursement of the $33.5 million settlement awarded by a California civil jury in a wrongful death lawsuit nearly 30 years ago. This lawsuit was initiated by the families of Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman.

The will of Simpson, naming LaVergne—a long-serving attorney for Simpson since 2009—as executor, was submitted to a Clark County court in Nevada on Friday. It revealed that Simpson’s assets had been transferred to a trust formed earlier this year.

LaVergne, in conversation with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, mentioned that Simpson’s total estate value remains undetermined. Nevada law requires that estates with assets over $20,000 undergo a judicial review.

Simpson passed away on Wednesday, and he had not paid the majority of the civil judgment rendered in 1997, which found him liable. His assets are now subject to probate, which may enable the Goldman and Brown families to claim a portion of his remaining estate.

LaVergne expressed a particular desire to prevent the Goldman family from receiving any funds from the estate, stating, “It’s my hope that the Goldmans get zero, nothing,” and affirming his commitment to use all his powers as executor to achieve this outcome.

LaVergne did not respond to phone and email inquiries from The Associated Press that were made on Saturday.

Despite efforts from the Brown and Goldman families to secure the judgment amount, LaVergne noted that no court had mandated Simpson to settle the debt. He attributed his animosity towards the Goldman family partly to controversies linked to Simpson’s hypothetical book, “If I Did It,” which the Goldman family ultimately gained rights to and renamed “If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer.”

Simpson, once celebrated for his football career and entertainment ventures, had his reputation overshadowed by the infamous June 1994 murders of his ex-wife and her friend, for which he was acquitted in 1995 in a highly publicized trial.

Fred Goldman, Ron Goldman’s father and the primary plaintiff, emphasized that their pursuit was never about financial gain but about holding Simpson accountable. Following Simpson’s death, Fred Goldman expressed that any chance for true accountability was now gone.

As Simpson’s estate undergoes probate under the trust established in January, the Goldman and Brown families are positioned to assert strong claims, potentially on par with or stronger than other creditors. Simpson’s will benefits his four children and stipulates that any beneficiary contesting the will shall receive only one dollar in place of any claims to the estate or its assets.

Simpson had reported living solely off his NFL and private pensions, and as part of satisfying the jury’s award, had auctioned off many valuable items, including his Heisman Trophy, which sold for $230,000.

In complex estate situations like the one involving O.J. Simpson’s assets, the role of a probate lawyer becomes crucial. Probate lawyers specialize in estate management following someone’s death, navigating the legal system to ensure that the deceased’s assets are distributed according to their wishes and legal requirements. This process, known as probate, can become especially contentious when significant debts, legal judgments, or diverse heirs are involved.

Firstly, probate lawyers are instrumental in validating the will of the deceased. This involves ensuring that the will complies with state laws and truly reflects the intentions of the deceased. For high-profile cases such as Simpson’s, where substantial assets and potential legal conflicts are involved, a probate lawyer ensures that the will is executed without legal flaws that could be exploited in court.

Furthermore, probate lawyers manage the assembly and valuation of the deceased’s estate. Simpson’s estate, as reported, involves not just liquid assets but also trusts and valuable personal property. A probate lawyer helps in accurately assessing the estate’s value, crucial for settling debts and judgments, like the $33.5 million awarded to the Goldman and Brown families. This valuation process must be meticulously documented to prevent further disputes among claimants.

Additionally, in situations where there are outstanding debts or legal judgments, as with Simpson’s estate, probate lawyers navigate the legal intricacies of these claims. They play a defensive role in protecting the estate against unwarranted claims and ensuring that legitimate debts are paid in accordance with state laws. For instance, the Goldman and Brown families’ claims to Simpson’s estate are likely to be mediated in part by the probate lawyer, who must balance these claims against other estate obligations.

Lastly, probate lawyers also provide crucial mediation between heirs and claimants, often diffusing tensions and facilitating negotiations among parties with competing interests. This mediation is essential to prevent lengthy and costly court battles that can deplete the estate’s assets and leave all parties dissatisfied.

Thus, someone like a Florida Probate Administration Lawyer not only ensures legal compliance and orderly asset distribution but also protects the estate from potential exploitation and helps maintain familial relationships during emotionally charged times.

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