Whitney Houston's millions: What Bobbi Kristina Brown may leave behind and who stands to gain

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Whitney Houston & Bobbi Kristina Brown: Circle of Tragedy

Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of late singer Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, died on Sunday, July 26 at the age of 22.

Her untimely death came after she was found face-down and unresponsive in a bathtub at her Georgia home on Jan. 31, and spent months receiving medical care. Brown was the sole beneficiary of Houston's fortune when the music legend died in 2012.

For insight into the possible financial scenarios that could play out following Brown's death, TheWrap spoke with an attorney who has reviewed a copy of Houston's will, as well as a Los Angeles tax lawyer well-versed in dealing with celebrity clients and large estates.

Also Read: Bobbi Kristina Brown's Medical Condition Explained: 'Complete Recovery Would Be Almost Impossible'

Whitney's Last Will and Testament
Attorney Bruce H. Gaynes, of Georgia-based Kitchens Kelley Gaynes, P.C., has reviewed a copy of Houston's will and explained its parameters. Drafted about 20 years ago, the will named Bobbi Kristina sole heir to the estate. But instead of inheriting Houston's fortune all at once, the will stipulated that Bobbi Kristina would receive the money in a series of payments over nine years: 10 percent at age 21, a 30 percent distribution at 25 and the remainder at age 30.

Bobbi Kristina, therefore, had only received the first payment in the distribution plan. Houston's will stipulates that "if Bobbi Kristina were to die unmarried, without children of her own and had left no will and testament of her own, the estate would be divided among Whitney's living relatives," Gaynes explained.

Those relatives are listed as Whitney's mother Emily "Cissy" Houston, and her brothers Michael and Gary, according to Gaynes. Whitney's father John is listed as well, but he died in 2003.

"Robert Brown is also listed," Gaynes said of Bobbi Kristina's father Bobby Brown, "but their divorce ... would nullify his claim to the estate."

The Houston estate, which is reported to be at least $20 million, is difficult to define. While rumors of financial trouble plagued Whitney in her final days, music royalties have poured in since her death.

Houston has also sold countless records worldwide, not to mention greatest hits compilations and re-releases in the wake of her death. Other items in the estate include property, jewelry, clothing and cars, according to media reports.

Whitney Houston through the years:

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Whitney Houston
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Whitney Houston's millions: What Bobbi Kristina Brown may leave behind and who stands to gain
FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2009 file photo, singer Whitney Houston performs at the Clive Davis pre-Grammy party in Beverly Hills, Calif. A CD/DVD featuring Whitney Houston’s first public performance and her last one in 2012 will be released on Nov. 11, 2014. “Whitney Houston Live: Her Greatest Performances” is the late singer’s first live album. Her mentor, Clive Davis, said the album will showcase the best-selling singer’s legacy. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg, file)
FILE - In this April 10, 2000 file photo, entertainer Whitney Houston strikes a pose during her performance at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles during taping of the "25 Years of #1 Hits: Arista Records' Anniversary Celebration." Houston will be remembered on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2012, at a funeral service at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J., the same church where a Houston sang with the choir as a young girl. While she died last Saturday in tony Beverly Hills, Calif., amid a media and celebrity crush ahead of her mentor Clive Davis' pre-Grammy party, her funeral will be a chance to reclaim Whitney Houston the person, instead of the icon. (AP Photo/Mark J.Terrill, file)
A file picture taken on October 1, 1991 in Paris shows US singer Whitney Houston performing at the POPB (Bercy hall). Grammy-winning pop legend and actress Whitney Houston, 48, was found dead on February 11, 2012 in a Beverly Hills hotel, police said. AFP PHOTO BERTRAND GUAY (Photo credit should read BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/GettyImages)
PERTH. AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 9: Singer Whitney Houston signs autographs at the childrens' hospital on November 9, 1988 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
12/4/99 New York, NY. Anthony Quinn, Cathy Benvin (l), kids, Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown at 'Whitney Houston's All-Star Holiday Gala.' Photo by Robin Platzer/Twin Images/Online USA, Inc.
(EXCLUSIVE, Premium Rates Apply) (Exclusive Coverage) Chief Creative Officer of Sony Music Entertainment Worldwide Clive Davis, President of Keep A Child Alive Leigh Blake and Whitney Houston attend at Keep A Child Alive's 7th annual Black Ball at Hammerstein Ballroom on September 30, 2010 in New York City.
INCHEON, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 03: Singer Whitney Houston poses with children as she arrives at Incheon International Airport on February 3, 2010, in Incheon, South Korea. Whitney Houston is scheduled to play her concerts in South Korea on February 6 and 7 and set to kick off her world tour 'Nothing but Love World Tour' for her latest album 'I Look to You' in South Korea next month. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
Whitney Houston, Courtney B Vance, Jenifer Lewis and two boys stand in front of a Christmas tree in a scene from the film 'The Preacher's Wife', 1996. (Photo by Buena Vista/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 8: Musician Whitney Houston performs live for an NBC show December 8, 2002 at Lincoln Center in New York City. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - MAY 22: Whitney Houston during VH1 Divas Duets: A Concert to Benefit the VH1 Save the Music Foundation - Show at MGM Grand on May 22, 2003 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Whitney Houston died in 2012. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
A file picture taken on May 18, 1988 in Paris shows US singer Whitney Houston performing at the POPB (Bercy hall). Grammy-winning pop legend and actress Whitney Houston, 48, was found dead on February 11, 2012 in a Beverly Hills hotel, police said. AFP PHOTO BERTRAND GUAY (Photo credit should read BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/GettyImages)
US singer Whitney Houston performs on stage during her concert as part of her tour 'Nothing But Love' in Oberhausen, western Germany on May 26, 2010. AFP PHOTO DDP/ STEFFI LOOS GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read STEFFI LOOS/AFP/Getty Images)
US singer Whitney Houston performs on stage during her concert as part of her tour 'Nothing But Love' in Berlin on May 12, 2010. AFP PHOTO DDP/ LENNART PREISS GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read LENNART PREISS/AFP/Getty Images)
BERLIN - MAY 12: US-American singer Whitney Houston performs live during a concert at the O2 World on May 12, 2010 in Berlin, Germany. The concert is part of the 2010 Nothing But Love tour to promote the album I Look To You. (Photo by Jakubaszek/Getty Images)
Jordin Sparks performs during a tribute in honor of Whitney Houston at VH1 Divas on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Singers Yolanda Adams and Cece Winans, bottom right, look up to an image of singer Whitney Houston after their performance onstage at "We Will Always Love You: A Grammy Salute to Whitney Houston," at Nokia Theatre on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Los Angeles. The one-hour concert tribute will air on CBS on Nov. 16. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
FILE - In this July 8, 2012 file photo, Nicci Gilbert performs a tribute to Whitney Houston at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. TV reality show, "R&B Divas," which airs Mondays at 10 p.m. EDT has an episode that shows the women's tribute performance from the 2012 Essence Music Festival honoring Whitney Houston, Etta James and others. (Photo by Cheryl Gerber/Invision/AP, File)
A fan of US pop diva, Whitney Houston, signs a giant mural with a portrait of her idol displayed at a mall in Manila on February 17, 2012, as part of the mall's tribute to the pop legend who died on February 11, aged 48 in a Beverly Hills hotel. Pop diva Whitney Houston will be laid to rest on February 18, after a private funeral service at the New Jersey Baptist church where she grew up singing in a gospel choir. AFP PHOTO/TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 25: Whitney Houston performs at 02 Arena on April 25, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Matt Kent/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 25: Whitney Houston performs at 02 Arena on April 25, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Matt Kent/WireImage)
PARADISE ISLANDS, BAHAMAS - DECEMBER 09: Singer Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown attend the rebirth of the Ocean Club Resort on December 9, 2000 in Paradise Island, Bahamas (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
(EXCLUSIVE, Premium Rates Apply) Bobby Brown, Whitney Houston and LL Cool J at BET's 25th Anniversary premiering on Nov. 1 @ 9p.m. ET/PT (Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage for BET Network)
(EXCLUSIVE, Premium Rates Apply) Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown at BET's 25th Anniversary premiering on Nov. 1 @ 9p.m. ET/PT (Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage for BET Network)
PARADISE ISLANDS, BAHAMAS - DECEMBER 09: Singer Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown attend the rebirth of the Ocean Club Resort on December 9, 2000 in Paradise Island, Bahamas (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston during VH1 Divas Duets: A Concert to Benefit the VH1 Save the Music Foundation - Show at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown and Stevie Wonder during VH1 Divas Duets: A Concert to Benefit the VH1 Save the Music Foundation - Backstage at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Bobby Brown, Whitney Houston and Lisa Marie Presley (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Whitney Houston (L) and husband Bobby Brown leave DeKalb County State Courthouse in Atlanta after a judge refused to dismiss 6 year-old traffic charges stemming from a DUI. Brown remains free on bond. He was arrested in Atlanta earlier this month on charges of possessing less than an ounce of marijuana, speeding and having no driver's license or proof of insurance. (Photo by Frank Mullen/WireImage)
DECATUR, GA - NOVEMBER 25: Singer/actress Whitney Houston (L) sticks out her tongue next to her husband, singer Bobby Brown, during a court hearing November 25, 2002 in Dekalb County State Court in Decatur, Georgia. Brown was arrested on an outstanding bench warrant for a DUI arrest in 1996. Judge Wayne Purdom set a trial of January 21, 2003. (Photo by Erik S. Lesser-Pool/Getty Images)
Whitney Houston (R) and husband Bobby Brown leave DeKalb County State Courthouse in Atlanta after a judge refused to dismiss 6 year-old traffic charges stemming from a DUI. Brown remains free on bond. He was arrested in Atlanta earlier this month on charges of possessing less than an ounce of marijuana, speeding and having no driver's license or proof of insurance. (Photo by Frank Mullen/WireImage)
Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown during VH1 Divas Duets: A Concert to Benefit the VH1 Save the Music Foundation - After Party at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. (Photo by Chris Polk/FilmMagic)
CLEVELAND, CA - MARCH 25: (FILE PHOTO) Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar party at Morton's Restaurant in Los Angeles Sunday night, March 25, 2001. Singer Bobby Brown was charged with battery December 10, 2003, three days after he allegedly hit his wife, singer and actress Whitney Houston. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
Clive Davis, Whitney Houston, & Bobby Brown during Arista 25th Anniversary Celebration After Party at Private House in Bel Air, California, United States. (Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage)
ARISTA RECORDS' 25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION -- Pictured: (l-r) Singers Bobby Brown, Whitney Houston on stage during the Arista Records' 25th Anniversary Celebration held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA on April 11, 2000 (Photo by Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
(NO TABLOIDS) Bobby Brown & Whitney Houston during Boxing at Radio City Music Hall at the Radio City Music Hall in New York, New York. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 06: Whitney Houston and husband Bobby Brown get together with Isabella Rossellini at the Costume Institute Gala 'Rock Style,' an exhibit of rock 'n' roll fashions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston at Whitney Houstons All Star Holiday Gala at the Marriott Marquis. (Photo By: Richard Corkery/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
Bobby Brown with Whitney Houston and Marc Anthony at Whitney Houstons All Star Holiday Gala at the Marriott Marquis. (Photo By: Richard Corkery/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 05: Whitney Houston with Bobby Brown (l.) and Marc Anthony attending Houston's All Star Holiday Gala at the Marriott Marquis. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
la chanteuse américaine Whitney Houston embrasse son époux Bobby Brown, le 11 novembre1999 à Dublin, après avoir reçu le prix pour la meilleure interprète de Rhytm and Blues, lors de la remise des Europe Music Awards 1999. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) // US singer Whitney Houston hugs her husband Bobby Brown after she recieved the award for Best Rhythm and Blues performer at the 1999 MTV Europe Awards at The Point in Dublin 11 November 1999. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) (Photo credit should read JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: Singer Whitney Houston is featured in the In Memoriam tribute during the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 23, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
a tribute to Whitney Elizabeth Houston on a street graffitti in Barcelona city. Catalonia, Spain.
A girl places a flower at a makeshift memorial to Grammy-winning pop legend and actress Whitney Houston near the Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The 48-year-old singer died in her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel as she prepared for a party on the eve of music's Grammy Awards. An autopsy is being performed but police do not suspect foul play. AFP PHOTO/ David McNew (Photo credit should read DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images)
Rocopera Conti sings in front of a makeshift memorial for singer Whitney Houston at the New Hope Baptist Church on February 17, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey, one day before the funeral for the pop star at the church. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 17: A young fan pays respect at a makeshift memorial outside 'The New Hope Baptist Church' on February 17, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. Whitney Houston was found dead in her hotel room at The Beverly Hilton hotel on February 11, 2012. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)
FILE - This April 25, 2010 file photo shows U.S singer Whitney Houston performing at the o2 in London as part of her European tour. The FBI has released its files on a trio of investigations the agency conducted on behalf of Whitney Houston. The records released Monday show the agency conducted one investigation into an alleged extortion attempt in 1992, but agents and prosecutors determined no crime occurred. Agents also found no evidence of criminal threats to the singer in fan mail that was sent to the FBI for investigation in 1988 and 1999. The 128-page file covers the height of the Grammy-winning singer's popularity but does not contain any new personal details. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan, file)
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Also Read: Bobby Brown on Bobbi Kristina's Hospitalization: 'Give My Daughter the Love and Support She Needs'

Bobby Brown's Paternal Claims?
Whether or not Bobbi Kristina had her own will and testament is key to determining what, if anything, Bobby Brown could inherit from his daughter. Gaynes said another important detail in the saga is that the only money in Bobbi Kristina's own estate is what she'd already received, plus any additional income.

"There could be up to 90 percent of Whitney's estate left unpaid, as she doesn't get another payment until 25," Gaynes said before Brown's death.

But it is unlikely that any of the remaining money would go to Bobbi Kristina's father, according to Los Angeles-based tax attorney Bruce Givner of Givner & Kaye law firm, which specializes in estate planning and asset protection.

"He has no claim unless Houston's estate plan names him as a contingent beneficiary," said Givner. "He would not be a participant. He is probably irrelevant."

Also Read: Bobbi Kristina Brown's Boyfriend Nick Gordon 'Desperately' Trying to Visit Her Bedside, Says Lawyer

Nick Gordon and a Social Media "Marriage"
Nick Gordon, Bobbi Kristina's live-in boyfriend, is in a similar if not worse scenario than Brown. Despite repeated social media proclamations that he and Bobbi Kristina are husband and wife, an attorney representing Bobby Brown has said they never wed.

Gordon's only legitimate claim to anything Bobbi Kristina might leave behind is to produce a valid marriage certificate. That would make him her next of kin — thus entitling him to her current assets — but not the remainder of Whitney's estate.

But the reality of a legal marriage between Gordon and Bobbi Kristina is unlikely, given that he wasprohibited from even visiting her in the hospital. Were they man and wife, the Houston and Brown families would have been unable to prevent him from seeing her.

A wild card in landing Gordon the entirety of Bobbi Kristina's current assets would be if her legal team had drafted a will and testament naming him as her heir, Givner explained.

But when asked how often he has encountered a 20-something with an estate plan, Givner said, "never."

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