This led to the world's most famous probate and undue influence case between Anna Nicole Smith and her stepston E. Pierce Marshall over the estate. The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court which drew refined the line between bankruptcy court and probate court in the process. Smith lost the probate suit, but the bankruptcy trustee brought litigation on behalf of her bankruptcy estate alleging that the reason that there wasn't a valid will was that E. Pierce Marshall engaged in fraudulent conduct to prevent his father from making gifts to her and to prevent him from executing the Will that he wanted to establish.
The Supreme Court held that fraudulent conduct of this type isn't within the narrow court created probate exception to federal jurisdiction. The litigation isn't over, but both of the litigants in that much watched U.S. Supreme Court case are dead now. The survivors may continue the battle.
Anna Nicole Smith died today. E. Pierce Marshall died died June 20, 2006 at age 67.
Smith is survived by a 5-month-old daughter whose paternity is in dispute.
The birth certificate lists Dannielynn's father as attorney Howard K. Stern, Smith's most recent companion. Smith's ex-boyfriend Larry Birkhead was waging a legal challenge, saying he was the father.
Her elder son, Daniel Smith, died September 10, 2006.