MOSCOW, May 8 (RAPSI) - The recently deceased self-exiled Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky drafted a new will a mere nine days prior to his death, The Times reported Wednesday.
According to the report, the document listed five potential executors, none of whom have agreed to take responsibility for the estate, including: two attorneys, old friend Yuli Dubov, daughter Ekaterina Berezovskaya, and ex-girlfriend Helena Gorbunova.
The Times added that international accounting firm Grant Thornton has been court-appointed to deal with the estate in the meantime, until an executor is appointed.
The 67-year-old businessman was found by his bodyguard in the bathroom of his house on Mill Lane, Ascot, Berkshire, on March 23. The results of a post-mortem examination found the cause of death to be consistent with hanging.
Shortly after his death, RAPSI spoke with several experts about what could be expected of Berezovsky’s estate, and all agreed that the situation would not likely run smoothly.
Collyer Bristow partner and estate-planning expert James Badcock explained that Berezovsky’s estate will likely give rise to a series of complex fact-finding efforts on behalf of creditors and beneficiaries alike. This process will be made even more complex by the fact that he may have had properties and other assets located in a variety of jurisdictions, and that some of these might be held by third parties. Under English insolvency law, the trustee may be able to challenge and set aside some of the transactions which the deceased entered into before his death, for example if the purpose of those transactions was to put assets beyond the reach of his creditors.
Addressing the intent of Russian federal prosecutors to recoup Russia’s losses from Berezovsky’s estate, solicitor Tony Millson of Royds solicitors, an expert tax and estate planner for wealthy individuals in the UK and abroad, noted after suggesting the pursuit any remaining Russian assets: “All I would say is it’s going to be hard work for them.”
Pemberton Greenish partner and probate expert John Goodchild concluded with the sentiment that whoever is left responsible for the administration of the estate would be well advised to seek guidance from the court, noting: “they need to tread very carefully.”
The official cause of Berezovsky's death will be announced after the police complete toxicology and histology examinations.