If she decides to go that path, Bourdain’s estranged wife could exercise her right to her share of his estate.
Part of Anthony Bourdain’s charm was his unflinching honesty, but he may not have liked just how public all of his financial information has become. Among the details—he wasn’t as wealthy as some might have thought. Since he never finalized his divorce from Ottavia Busia-Bourdain, his estate plan might also be challenged, as reported in a recent article from Investment News, “Will of Anthony Bourdain could be open to legal dispute.”
Documents filed with the Manhattan Surrogate's Court say that Bourdain's estate was worth $1.21 million, the New York Daily News reported. This includes $425,000 in savings and cash, $35,000 in brokerage money, $250,000 in personal property and $500,000 in "intangible property, including royalties and residuals."
Bourdain was estimated to be worth as much as $16 million.
The will establishes a trust and designates Bourdain's 11-year-old daughter, Ariane Busia-Bourdain, as the primary beneficiary. The trust will distribute assets when she is 25 and 30, and she will receive access to the balance when she turns 35, according to a report in the USA Today. A guardian will be selected by the court to protect her inheritance, since Ariane is still a minor.
These types of trusts that pay out over time, are frequently created for young beneficiaries to make certain they aren’t overwhelmed by getting a big inheritance all at once. A trust with periodic disbursements allows her a better chance of being strategic with her money.
Bourdain named his estranged wife, Ottavia Busia-Bourdain, as his executor and left her "personal and household effects" including cars, furniture, books, and frequent flier miles. Reports say that he never finalized his divorce from Ottavia. As a result, she may be eligible for elective share of the assets, even if she was left out of the will. She could receive as much as a third of Mr. Bourdain's estate, if she elects.
French authorities ruled that Bourdain had committed suicide in a hotel room in France in early June. He was in France to film segments for “Parts Unknown,” his popular CNN show.
Reference: Investment News (July 9, 2018) “Will of Anthony Bourdain could be open to legal dispute”