According to news sources, former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, worth an estimated $840 million when he died in wake of a Connecticut house fire last month, did not leave behind a will, his family said.
Many celebrities and wealthy individuals have died without a proper estate plan, including Prince and Aretha Franklin. Because he died without an estate plan, Tony Hsieh's estate is going to be tied up in years of costly legal proceedings as family members fight for a share of his fortune. Also, the estate will be subject to huge taxes. All of this could have been avoided if Mr. Hsieh has invested a little time preparing a well-designed estate plan.
The 46-year-old entrepreneur died on Nov. 27 of complications from smoke inhalation, caused by a brutal blaze sparked inside a New London residence just more than a week prior. According to legal documents obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, his family said they were “unaware of the existence of a fully executed estate plan and have a good faith belief that the Decedent died intestate.”
Hsieh’s family in a court filing on Wednesday requested that a judge name his father and brother as special administrators to his estate.
Hsieh, a Harvard graduate, retired as Zappos’ CEO earlier this year after spending nearly two decades in the top spot. He joined the online shoe retailer in 1999 when it was still called ShoeSite.com and remained with the company when it later sold to Amazon for $1.2 billion.
First responders pulled Hsieh from the fire just after 3:30 a.m. on Nov. 18. Witnesses at the scene told them that a man, later identified as Hsieh, “was locked inside a storage area where smoke was coming out at the rear of the residence, and they were unable to get him out.”
Emergency personnel managed to fight their way inside and rescue Hsieh, who was rushed to local hospital for treatment before he was transferred to Bridgeport Hospital Burn Center.
According to Fox 41, the former Zappos head purchased the home just four months before his death for Rachael Brown, a high-ranking executive at the online shoe retailer as well as a prominent cellist who plays with Nina Di Gregorio’s Bella Electric Strings ensemble and David Perrico’s Pop Strings orchestra.