Zappos' Tony Hsieh died without a will, left a 'mess' on million-dollar estate: 'He wrote deals on sticky notes'
The troubled CEO's father and brother, who were appointed administrators of the shoe mogul's estate after his death, have reportedly begun kicking out some of Hsieh's acquaintances who were still living on his properties
The founder of Zappos, Tony Hsieh, reportedly left a "mess" of an estate worth hundreds of millions of dollars, including some deals written on thousands of Post-it notes covering the millionaire's walls. The CEO's father, Richard, and his brother, Andrew, traveled to Park City, Utah, recently where the shoe mogul spent $70 million this year to set up his new home, the Wall Street Journal cited sources as saying.
Hsieh, on November 18, was pulled unconscious from a burning shed attached to a waterfront home in New London, Connecticut, soon after 3:30 AM. He succumbed to his injuries nine days later in the hospital. A dispatch tape reportedly revealed that Hsieh was "barricaded" inside the shed. The dispatcher reportedly said: "The male is barricaded inside and not answering the door. Everyone else is outside the house. They are trying to get him to open up."
The founder's family, without a will to work with, is now attempting to trace the millionaire's full worth and his recent business dealings. The WSJ reported that Hsieh's most recent investments were made through a dozen limited-liability companies while he was seemingly having a breakdown. The troubled CEO's father and brother, who were appointed administrators of the shoe mogul's estate after his death, have reportedly begun kicking out some of Hsieh's acquaintances who were still living on his properties, the outlet stated. The father-brother duo is now seeking to evaluate apparent financial commitments Hsieh made to his friends and staff that were found on the sticky notes in his mansion.
A partner at the law firm Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP, Justin H. Brown, while speaking to the paper said that the notes stuck on the late founder's walls could be a key sticking point in the clear "mess" of his estate. He said: "You’re going to have to look at each specific sticky note and decide if it’s a contract — is it binding? Was he in the correct state of mind — did he have the capacity to even enter a contract?" Brown was not involved in the case.
According to Forbes estimates, Hsieh was worth hundreds of millions of dollars when he died in November. However, according to the paper, the shoe company founder went on a wild spending spree in Park City in the months leading up to his death. He reportedly fell in love with the area after he earlier visited it during the Sundance Film Festival. The spending included buying his mansion and surrounding properties for his friends and staff. He reportedly also helped local struggling businesses, in one instance getting a car company to assist with their friends' travel; a wine bar to provide liquor for all his parties; he reportedly also opened tabs at multiple restaurants nearby. The shoe mogul reportedly even allowed his friends to use his credit cards. Hsieh also had a $30 million “angel” fund planned to assist tech startups and other businesses in the region.
The founder's family, while speaking to the paper, said that "no decisions on the future of the estate have been made since Tony Hsieh’s recent, sudden and unexpected death.”