Maradona inheritance to be ‘messy’

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The late Diego Maradona did not leave a Will, according to a recent BBC report meaning that the division of his estate is bound to be complicated.

Maradona, the Argentinian football icon, died at the age of 60 last week. His estate is said to include properties, image rights, sports cars and jewellery. Argentinian media has estimated his fortune to be worth between $75 and $100 million

Maradona fathered at least eight children with six different women, and it is expected his estate will be divided around them. However, it is expected that there will be a protracted court battle with family disputes, DNA tests and ‘opportunistic’ claims of paternity.

Denied most of his children

A lawyer based in Buenos Aires told the BBC he expected the inheritance process to be messy and that it would take time to sort out. For many years, the footballer denied having any children apart from the two daughters he had with his ex-wife, Claudia Villafañe, whom he divorced in 2003.

He eventually acknowledged six more children, two of them following court battles with their mothers. There was no dispute over a son in 2013. He also acknowledged three children in 2019. They were born in Cuba, the country where he spent several years in the early 2000s undergoing treatment for cocaine addiction.

However, two other children have since come forward, saying they believe Maradona was their father and are taking legal action to prove this. Should their claim be true, they too will be entitled to a share of his estate.

Request for body to be exhumed

The lawyer for one of those children has already asked for Maradona’s body to be exhumed so a sample can be collected for use in DNA testing.

The report says Maradona’s assets include five properties in Argentina, a Rolls Royce Ghost and a BMW i8, a diamond ring, an amphibious vehicle and a contract that allows the gaming company to use his likeness in its Pro Evolution Soccer video game.

He is supposed to have earned “tens of millions of dollars from salaries and endorsements”. He is also reported to have drawn a $3 million from a contract with the Italian football club Napoli.

Unpaid taxes

However, the Italian government said Maradona owed €37.2 million in unpaid taxes from his time there, most of which remains unpaid. Factored into the estimate of his estate worth, this sum would reduce the value of his estate considerably – to $500,000 according to Celebrity Net Worth.

In addition, Maradona was reputed to be something of a spendthrift. In 2019. Maradona said he planned to leave nothing behind and would donate all his estate. However, under Argentinian law a person can only give away a third of their assets—the rest must be passed onto their children or spouse.

As he had no spouse when he died and appears to have not left a Will, then his children should receive an equal share of his estate. According to Argentinian media, his third daughter was the first to file a claim for a share of his inheritance nine days after his death.

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