Smith, Stern and Dannielynn
03/04/2008 AT 04:05 PM EST
03/04/2008 AT 03:45 PM EST
A petition to have Anna Nicole Smith
's 18-month-old daughter Dannielynnn declared the sole heir to her estate was approved Tuesday by a Los Angeles judge.
In court papers filed in Superior Court Oct. 18, 2007, Howard K. Stern, the executor of Smith's estate, sought to clarify Smith's intentions in her July 2001 will, drafted five years before Dannielynn Hope's September 2006 birth. (Smith died in February 2007.)
"We and Mr. Stern always believed that Anna Nicole never intended to disinherit her daughter,"' Stern's lawyer, Bruce S. Ross, said after Tuesday's hearing. "I'm pleased to say this chapter in the saga is closed."
The toddler could conceivably inherit millions from the fortune of Smith's late husband, oil man J. Howard Marshall, whose estate is still tied up
in litigation in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
In addition to confirming Dannielynn as Anna Nicole's sole heir, Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff's ruling also establishes a trust on her behalf with Stern and Birkhead as its co-trustees, Ross said.
Tuesday's ruling was first reported by TMZ.com