LOS ANGELES (KABC) — A court battle develops over Anne Heche’s estate, with her eldest son and one of her ex-boyfriends vying for control in a probate hearing.
A judge ruled Tuesday that Heche’s 20-year-old son Homer Laffoon will remain executor of the late actress’ estate despite a petition from James Tupper, Heche’s ex-boyfriend and father of her 13-year-old son Atlas.
Tupper wanted the judge to declare him ad litum guardian of Atlas, which would give him specific powers to represent the boy. However, the judge denied that request, saying Laffoon is qualified to serve as sole administrator and that “in the State of California, a person may be illiterate and still be considered qualified.”
“He (Tupper) would have to prove some form of fraud, neglect, waste, mismanagement, embezzlement or he would be incapable of assuming the position of steward,” said family attorney Atousa Saei.
Heche died in a burning car accident in August of this year, apparently leaving no written will or trust regarding her estate.
Medical examiner publishes official cause of death for Anne Heche
“It’s a bit surprising because most people who have a lot of wealth are demanding, they will at least have a fiduciary relationship for their entire estate so that they can avoid probate testing altogether,” Saei told Eyewitness News.
Tupper, who was with Heche for around seven years, has also claimed that the actress emailed him 11 years ago, asking him to run her affairs and look after their sons if anything happened to her. The judge has yet to deal with that part of the case, but Saei is unsure if Tupper will prevail.
“I don’t think it will work because it was nothing more than an email,” Saei said. “So it’s not in her handwriting, and who knows — Tupper may have sent it himself.”
Tupper and Laffoon are expected in court on November 30.