Jeffrey Epstein signed will two days before death, prison head removed

Convicted sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein signed his will only two days before committing suicide while in federal custody in New York.

The New York Post has obtained documents revealing that Epstein - who was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges - signed his will on August 8 to ensure his fortune went into a trust. The Associated Press and CNN have since reported similar information.

Epstein's net worth was valued at nearly NZD$900 million.

A city lawyer source The Post spoke to said the will was fairly typical, but the date of signing was unusual. 

"He could have thought, 'I need to get my ducks in a row.'" the lawyer told The Post.

Documents, which were filed in the Virgin Islands, list no details of beneficiaries, but several women who alleged Epstein sexually abused them are likely to try to get some of the assets.

"Give his entire estate to his victims. It is the only justice they can get," a lawyer for one of the alleged victims said, reports the Associated Press.

It comes as US Attorney General William Barr removed the acting head of the Bureau of Prisons - Hugh Hurwitz - from his role as further scrutiny is laid on the management of Epstein while in custody.

Questions have swirled about why Epstein was left for extended periods of time unsupervised and if the New York Metropolitan Correctional Centre was adequately staffed. Barr has said officials have uncovered "serious irregularities" in how Epstein was looked after.

The list of mistakes made by prison management and guards led to conspiracy theories that Epstein may have been killed due to his connections to high-level figures.

A New York medical examiner last week ruled his death was a suicide.