Actor Anne Heche’s death in a fiery car crash was ruled an accident in August. Now her 20-year-old son Homer Laffoon has filed a petition in the Superior Court of Los Angeles for control of the estate since his mother did not leave a will. That petition lists himself and 13-year-old half-brother Atlas Tupper as the only heirs. Laffoon also filed a petition requesting that someone represent the interests of his younger sibling in court. While Heche’s estate is said to be as modest as $400,000, the Laffoon’s (likely with help from legal advisors) petitions are relatively standard when no one has the legal authority to assess the estate’s assets.
Current value is not the whole story
Heche’s current value may be worth a modest amount, but there is a list of assets worth noting:
- A corporation where Heche is the sole shareholder
- An LLC membership in her podcast
- Heche’s interest in her new book
- Royalty payments
- Income tied to other assets
- Tangible personal property
Tupper’s father also owes debts due to damages from contractual obligations tied to real property investments bought and sold. The elder Tupper provided an email from 2011 arguing that he should be in charge of the estate if something happened until the kids turned 25, but the couple split in 2018. That email was not signed or notarized.
Judge to decide the matter
It is common for parents who remarry or have children from different partners to have complex estate issues, especially if there is no valid will. The Superior Court Judge will have to rule on the matter. Considering what is at stake and the undefined nature of the estate, heirs need to get legal representation to protect their legal interests.