paper bills and coins

Probate records reveal that he died without a will and left an estate valued at ‘nil’ in England and Wales. It is not known if he had assets held overseas or in trust or joint-ownership which would not have been included in his estate. His daughter Elizaveta Berezovskaya claimed at a two day inquest in Windsor last March that the Russian Government could have been behind his death.

Recently, former billionaire Boris Berezovsky was found hanged to death in the United Kingdom. Given who he is (believed to be the second richest tycoon in Russia) and the circumstances of his life, there is some mystery surrounding his death. Some people believe that he committed suicide, but his family believes that he was killed for criticizing Vladimir Putin. You see, Boris Berezovsky found himself at odds with Putin and eventually left the country.

Interestingly, the coroner’s report is uncertain about the cause of death.

Another surprise.

Now, it appears the Berezovsky’s UK estate is worth nothing, not even a single penny, as the Daily Mail reports in Russian ‘billionaire’ Boris Berezovsky found dead in bath last year left nothing in his will after dying penniless.”

What is not known is where all of the money went or where it may yet be held. Is it in unknown offshore trusts and bank accounts?

Berzovsky also died without an estate plan. Consequently, if his estate did have value its eventual distribution would be determined by UK courts.

This is an unusual case as it is not often that a billionaire loses absolutely everything.

Still, it is difficult to draw too many lessons from it, as it is not yet clear what happened to the money. Nevertheless, it is never a good idea to not have an estate plan and leave things up to the government to sort out.

Reference: Daily Mail (November 22, 2014) Russian ‘billionaire’ Boris Berezovsky found dead in bath last year left nothing in his will after dying penniless

For more information on asset preservation and estate planning, please visit my estate planning website.

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.