Nancy Lanza, the mother of Newtown shooter Adam Lanza, had nearly $60,000 in bank accounts and a will dating to 1994 that left her estate to Adam and his brother, Ryan Lanza.
The five-page will, originally signed in November 1994 when Nancy Lanza and her husband at the time, Peter Lanza, lived in New Hampshire, was filed in the regional Probate Court in Bethel earlier this week by Stamford attorney Samuel Starks.
Starks had been assigned by Probate Judge Joseph Egan to search for Nancy Lanza's will and to file an accounting of her estate. Starks has yet to file that accounting, although in a letter to Egan he said that he had identified $59,000 in liquid assets that belonged to Nancy Lanza as of Dec. 14, when 20-year-old Adam killed her in her sleep before driving to Sandy Hook Elementary School and murdering 20 first-graders and six women before killing himself as police closed in.
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Yogananda Street, Newtown, CT 06482, USA
Nancy Lanza's will originally made Peter Lanza her beneficiary and executor. But the couple was divorced in 2009, removing him as a benefactor or executor.
Nancy Lanza, who was 52 when she died, listed her brother James Champion as well as Mark Lanza, Peter's brother, as alternate executors of her estate. However, both men submitted letters to the probate court indicating that they did not wish to serve as executor. Neither specified why.
Because the executors named by Nancy Lanza refused, Egan named Starks as the administrator of the will.
In his filings, Starks said that he was still determining the overall value of Nancy Lanza's estate, but noted the $60,000 she had in liquid assets, or money.
Nancy Lanza also owned the house on Yogananda Street that she shared with Adam Lanza. The 3,100-square-foot house is assessed at about $366,000, with an appraised value of more than $500,000, records show.
After their divorce, Peter Lanza was paying his former wife more than $200,000 a year in alimony and to take care of Adam Lanza. The lone benefactor of the estate now is Ryan Lanza.
Following the divorce, Nancy Lanza did not update her will to give specific instruction regarding the care of Adam Lanza if she were to die before he reached the age of 21. He would have turned 21 later this month.
Neither the will nor Starks' letter contains any suggestion that Nancy Lanza set up special instructions to care for Adam Lanza, a troubled youth who had problems communicating with others, other than that he was to share the estate with his brother, Ryan. Adam Lanza was 2 years old when the original will was signed.
While Peter Lanza signed a document agreeing to have Starks serve as administrator of his former wife's will, he also made a request through Starks to remove Adam Lanza's personal property from the house. The request was granted Jan. 18, records show. Ryan Lanza also was given permission to remove personal possessions from the house.
There is no record of what was removed from the house at that time and it is unclear how much was left behind after state police searched it three times following the murders.
Many of Adam Lanza's possessions, from his personal journals and drawings to a military uniform that he kept in his bedroom, were removed by state police and sent to the FBI Behavorial Analysis Unit to create a profile of the shooter. Police also removed from the house more than 1,500 rounds of ammunition, a few guns, knives and samurai swords.