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Since Anne Heche’s death, her ex-partner James Tupper and oldest son Homer Lafoon have been in a legal battle regarding the control of her estate. Lafoon is challenging a document brought by Tupper, saying that it’s invalid and can’t be used. Tupper continues to refer to the document as a Will, but Lafoon alleges that it doesn’t meet the legal criteria required for a Will and, as such, isn’t valid. He states that the document doesn’t bear Heche’s signature or the signatures of any witnesses.
In a supplement to his previous petition, Lafoon has stated that Tupper is preventing him from seeing his half-brother, who is Heche and Tupper’s child. Lafoon also states that Tupper has asserted that Lafoon is too young to handle his mother’s estate, and that Tupper should have control over it. The document that Tupper is using to make the claim that he should be the estate’s executor is from 2011, and Lafoon is alleging that it can’t be considered either a formal, witnessed Will or a holographic Will.
If the document doesn’t fall into either of those categories, the State of California doesn’t see it as a Will. However, no ruling has yet been made on whether the document has any validity, or whether Lafoon will be the one to control Heche’s estate. Tupper states that Lafoon was estranged from Heche when she died, and is questioning whether Lafoon is “suitable” to be in control of the estate, but Lafoon argues that this was not the case, and that there was no estrangement between him and his mother.
Heche was in a car crash in early August, and declared legally dead on August 12th. She was an organ donor, and was removed from life support on August 14th. She is buried in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, located in Los Angeles. A ruling on her estate will be forthcoming, but there’s currently no official hearing date set.
Unfortunately, we never know how much time we have left. If you do not have a current Will or other estate planning documents in place, contact The Estate Planning & Legacy Law Center today. Documenting your wishes now can provide peace of mind and can help you and your loved ones avoid being in the situations like Heche’s sons find themselves in.