Ex-Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh did not have a will when he died Friday, leaving an estimated $840-million fortune. This is according to a court document filed in Las Vegas on the family’s behalf to protect his estate.
The 46-year-old tech guru and downtown Las Vegas investor died the day after Thanksgiving in a Bridgeport, Connecticut, hospital. Nine days earlier, firefighters pulled him out of a storage shed with smoke coming from it at a home in New London, Connecticut. He was unresponsive when removed from the shed, according to news accounts.
Authorities ruled his death was an accident caused by complications from smoke inhalation. He would have turned 47 on Dec. 12.
A death certificate is attached to the court document. It lists the cause of death as “pending further studies.”
The document was filed Wednesday in Clark County District Court. It seeks to “protect the estate from financial loss” and to address his business commitments. Las Vegas attorney Dara J. Goldsmith is representing the Hsieh family.
The document asks that Hsieh’s father, Richard, and brother, Andrew, be named co-special administrators and legal representatives of the estate. Hsieh’s parents, Richard and Judy Hsieh, live in Cupertino, Calif. His brothers, Andrew and David Hsieh, live in Henderson, Nev. Henderson is in Southern Nevada near Las Vegas.
The court filing asks that the co-special administrators be given access to Hsieh’s financial information. This includes business contracts, tax returns, canceled checks, bank deposit boxes, withdrawal authorizations, and more. The co-special administrators also are seeking access to Hsieh’s social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Hsieh’s family has “a good faith belief” that Hsieh died without a will, the court document states.
The investigation into the cause and manner of Hsieh’s death continued this week.
The $1.3-million waterfront home where emergency crews located Hsieh belonged to Rachael Brown, a musician identified as his girlfriend, according to news accounts. Brown began working at Zappos in Las Vegas in 2004 as one of the first 100 employees.
It was unclear whether Brown was at the home at the time of the fire. An assistant of Hsieh’s told a Connecticut television station the former Zappos CEO was in New London visiting family and his “soulmate.”
At about 3:30 am on Nov. 18, fire crews responding to the incident broke into the storage shed where Hsieh was found.
Voices can be heard on emergency dispatch calls saying someone was “barricaded” or “trapped” in the shed and was not responding to people on the outside asking him to “open up.”
Emergency crews took Hsieh to a New London hospital and later to the Connecticut Burn Center in Bridgeport. The Associated Press reported that his family was with him when he died.
Park City Residence
A 1995 Harvard University graduate with a degree in computer science, Hsieh stayed on with Las Vegas-based Zappos after Amazon bought the online shoe-and-clothing seller for $1.2 billion in 2009. Hsieh pumped millions of dollars into revitalizing neglected areas of downtown Las Vegas.
In August, Hsieh retired from Zappos after more than 20 years with the company. After recently attending the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, Hsieh bought property there. Brown had moved to the ski resort town with him, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Circa Resort owner Derek Stevens and others in the downtown casino district organized a tribute to Hsieh on Saturday. The tribute featured a five-minute visual display on the lighted canopy at the Fremont Street Experience.
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