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Robin Williams, who passed away in 2014, reportedly left much of his estate to three children from his first two marriages. However, reports are that he made arrangements via trusts to fund his widow’s living expenses so she could maintain her lifestyle and home for the rest of her life.
While the actor reportedly took steps to make his wishes known in estate documents, his heirs are dealing with a dispute in court. The dispute is between the actor’s wife and his three adult children and deals with hundreds of personal items, including the late actor’s clothing.
Reports indicate that movers, along with legal agents, removed many items from the widow’s home after a hearing earlier this year. Items remove included clothing as well as artwork. The widow’s attorney stated that she wishes to keep some personal items and was particularly attached to some clothing, such as old t-shirts and slippers that Robin Williams often wore.
Court documents indicate that Williams left some property, cash assets, personal belongings and income generated by his acting career to his children. For her and her children, he left the home and a trust meant to cover her expenses. That trust has reportedly remained unfunded pending a resolution of the dispute.
Reports are that the dispute has thus far been managed through mediators. The court recently granted extra time for the issue to be worked out and gave a deadline for resolution of July 29.
By speaking with heirs ahead of time and setting strong estate plans in motion, you may be able to help family members avoid disputes. However, as this case shows, even in the presence of an estate plan, probate and estate administration issues aren’t always completely avoidable.
Source: LA Times, “Judge gives Robin Williams’ wife, kids more time to work out estate issues,” Veronica Rocha, June 01, 2015
370 Main Street, Suite 970, Worcester, MA 01608
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We strive to take a proactive approach in anticipating and preventing legal disputes. When possible, we resolve conflicts through strategic mediation and arbitration. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge required to devise successful litigation strategies and imaginative, tax-effective estate plans.