Daughters' £12m war with the second Signora Pavarotti18 September 2007
Luciano Pavarotti's adult daughters are to fight his second wife for a share of his £12million American estate.
The tenor's second will, released last night, established the U.S. assets in a trust for Nicoletta Mantovani alone.
The assets include three New York apartments overlooking Central Park, bank accounts, valuable paintings and furniture.
The bulk of his £250million fortune was bequeathed in his first will.
Half of this went to Nicoletta, 37, and the other half was split equally between his four children - four-year-old Alice and his three daughters from his first marriage to Adua Veroni, Lorenza, 44, Cristina, 42, and Giuliana, 39.
Yesterday Fabrizio Corsini, the lawyer representing the three sisters, said: "We are not at all happy with this will covering the American estate and are contesting it.
"The Maestro's wishes in the first will have been respected and we have no problem with how that has been attributed.
"However this did not cover the Maestro's American estate and the three daughters from his first marriage are entitled to a fair share of this.
"The will should cover his entire global patrimony and the fact that all the American part has been left in a trust, solely in Nicoletta's name has left us perplexed."
Mr Corsini, who is based in the opera star's hometown of Modena, said the will was 'very surprising and is also a dubious act'.
"We shall be looking into how this trust was arranged and how it was drawn up and we shall be asking for all the paperwork."
The news raises the possibility that the first will could also be contested. Adua, who was married to Pavarotti for more than 35 years before his affair with Nicoletta, received nothing.
This was despite a recent reconciliation with her ex-husband. She or her daughters could make a claim for a bigger payout.
Mr Corsini said that the trust had been drawn up with various documents that had been sent from the U.S. during the last few weeks of Pavarotti's life. They were signed in his villa on the outskirts of Modena where he died, aged 71.
The second will was given to lawyer Luciano Buonanno, based in nearby Pesaro, at the end of July - six weeks before he died from pancreatic cancer.
Last night Mr Buonanno released Pavarotti's will, written in both English and Italian.
In it the singer wrote: "I leave to my wife Nicoletta all my goods, possessions and my properties in the United States.
"The condition being that they are placed in a trust . . . of which my wife will be the exclusive beneficiary while she is alive.
"My wife is not obliged to confer the assets of the American will to other heirs."
Yesterday Nicoletta's lawyer Giorgio Bernini denied there was anything unusual in the will.
He said: "It was all carried out in the full light of day and with the knowledge of Luciano Pavarotti.
"There is nothing underhand going on and nothing is being taken away from anyone.
"Nicoletta is merely looking after the American estate and if Mr Corsini wants to contest it then that is up to him.
"If he wishes to take the matter to court then so be it but everything has been done above board."
Friends of Pavarotti last week claimed Nicoletta was obsessed with money, a claim she has strongly denied.
She is in New York with her daughter Alice, staying in one of the apartments.