The archbishop who assisted Pope Benedict XVI is attempting to handle the late pontiff’s estate, but has found more heirs than he was expecting.
Archbishop Georg Gänswein told Italian news outlets Sunday that he was surprised to find he had five individuals with claims to Pope Benedict’s estate.
“This has been very interesting for me. I thought he had two relatives, two cousins, but there are five cousins in total,” the archbishop said, according to translations from Catholic News Agency.
He continued, “By law I have to write to the cousins who are the closest relatives, and also by law I have to ask them, ‘Do you accept the inheritance or do you not accept it?’”
It is not publicly known what money or assets are to be inherited from the late pontiff. Pope Benedict XVI spent his final years living simply in a Vatican apartment.
Gänswein told the newspaper Il Messaggero that “other personal items, from watches to pens, from paintings to liturgical items, were included in a list meticulously drawn up by Benedict XVI before he died.”
Last year, the Vatican announced Benedict had passed away on Dec. 31 at 9:34 a.m. He was 95 years old.
The late pope’s vast library was willed to the Vatican and the Joseph Ratzinger Vatican Foundation.