Anna Nicole Smith's bid for a chunk of her late husband's billion-dollar estate will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Smith, a former topless dancer, Playboy bunny and star of her own reality TV show, has been battling E. Pierce Marshall in court ever since her husband of one year, 89-year-old Texas oil baron J. Howard Marshall II, died in 1995.

Marshall claims he deserves all his father's money, since Smith is mentioned nowhere in his will.

After a California court awarded Smith $88.6 million in 2002, a Texas appeals court ruled the California judge had no jurisdiction in the case and named Marshall the sole heir.

Legal experts assumed the case was over when Smith's appeal was denied in February, but they were dealt a surprise Tuesday when the nation's highest court agreed to take the estate war on, E! Online reported.

The justices are expected to hear arguments from Smith's and Marshall's legal teams in January. The case centers on how far federal courts can intervene in estate-settlements, traditionally an area for the state courts.