Howard K. Stern is named executor, with Larry Birkhead as Dannielynn's guardian

By Howard Breuer
June 19, 2007 02:45 PM
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Four months after Anna Nicole Smith‘s death, a Los Angeles judge Tuesday named Howard K. Stern executor of her estate and Larry Birkhead guardian of his and Smith’s daughter, Dannielynn.

Attorneys will return to court later this year to review Smith’s assets, which Stern estimated at $710,000 – but which could grow substantially pending the outcome of a battle over the estate of Smith’s late husband, billionaire J. Howard Marshall.

Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff told the lawyers he was concerned about a clause in Smith’s will disinheriting any children born after her son, Daniel, who died last September three days after Dannielynn was born.

Smith, who died in February of an accidental overdose, left a will dated July 2001 that states that aside from her (now deceased) son Daniel, “I have intentionally omitted to provide for … other heirs, including future spouses and children and other descendants now living and those hereafter born or adopted.”

Bruce Ross, an attorrney for Smith, said he’ll prove at future hearings that the clause is “extraordinary and improperly drafted” and should not stand. He promised to send copies of Beckloff’s orders to Virgie Arthur, Smith’s mother.

This was the first Los Angeles hearing involving Stern and Birkhead since February, when they clashed in a family law court over paternity of Smith’s now 9-month-old daughter, Dannielynn.

Birkhead, shown by a DNA test to be Dannielynn’s father, is now living with the child in Smith’s former Los Angeles home.