With opulent homes, a Caribbean island and a private jet to Jeffrey Epstein’s name, the battle to claim his assets is on.

Even as questions swirl around the former financier’s death while in federal custody, attention will shift this week to the next drama: identifying what’s in his estate, who can claim his assets and which jurisdiction takes up the case. Lawyers seeking compensation for victims of his alleged sex crimes are calling for a freeze on the estate, raising the prospect of a legal process that could drag out for years.

It’s unclear whether Epstein, who wasn’t married and has no known children, left a will. What is known is that his wealth included a $77 million, 40-room mansion on New York’s Upper East Side, the island of Little St. James in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a ranch in New Mexico and homes in Paris and Palm Beach, Florida. His business was registered in the Virgin Islands.

“It’s going to be incredibly complicated,” said David Ring, an attorney in Los Angeles who has represented victims of sexual abuse and assault. “It’s going to be a lot of different folks who are going to be battling over this estate and these assets and I hope the victims come out on top. I think they deserve it. But I don’t think the estate is just going to hand it over to them.”

Epstein’s known relatives include his brother, Mark, and a niece and nephew, who live in New York.

Mark Epstein and a friend had offered to guarantee a bond as part of his brother’s bail request, which was denied. Epstein was awaiting trial on federal charges with sexually trafficking underage girls when he died on Saturday at age 66 in an apparent suicide.

‘Just Getting Started’
While the criminal case against Epstein closed with his death, his accusers have brought numerous civil lawsuits. Investigators gathered more evidence when they searched Epstein’s New York townhouse after his arrest, including photographs of what appeared to be naked underage girls.

Attorney Lisa Bloom, who represents three female plaintiffs, called on his estate’s administrators to freeze all of his assets.

“Our civil cases can still proceed against his estate,” Bloom said on Twitter. “Victims deserve to be made whole for the lifelong damage he caused. We’re just getting started.”

That will involve trying to establish the full scope of what U.S. prosecutors called Epstein’s “vast fortune,” which is more difficult now that he’s dead. Based on limited financial records, prosecutors estimated he made $10 million a year and had a net worth of at least $500 million. But details of his assets remained “largely concealed” from the New York court, according to prosecutors.

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