On August 11, 2015, the body of Robin Williams was found in his Tiburon, California, home where he took his own life by hanging himself. The actor and comedian was 63 years old and survived by his wife, Susan Schneider Williams, and three children from a previous marriage, Zachary, Zelda, and Cody. The children and Susan Schneider Williams have hired separate attorneys to represent them as they probate the late actor’s estate.
The bulk of the estate was left to the actor’s three children; however, he left the marital home to his wife. He also stated in his will that his wife should receive enough money to maintain the home during her lifetime. Schneider Williams filed documents with the court claiming that the personal items in the home should be excluded from the items left to the children. The actor’s children dispute that allegation. Williams’ widow and his children have divided some of his property; however, in March, over 1,200 personal items remained in dispute.
At the present time, roughly 300 personal items remain in dispute along with a clause in the will providing financial support to Williams’ widow to maintain the marital home left to her in the will.
Superior Court Judge Andrew Cheng stated he was happy with the progress the parties have made; however, he was only giving them until July 29 to settle their differences regarding the remaining personal property and money to take care of the marital home. It is not clear if the parties will be able to settle the remaining dispute without court intervention. Attorneys for both sides have said their clients are suffering because of the loss of Williams and the ongoing dispute over the estate.
When Families Fight over an Estate
Even with the best estate planning, there will be cases where families are in dispute over the terms and provisions of the will. When this happens, probate litigation is not only expensive and time-consuming but it is emotionally devastating. Families are dealing with the division that probate litigation causes in addition to the pain of losing a loved one. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to avoid disputes.
When this happens, hiring a probate attorney who has experience handling this type of litigation is the best option. In some cases, you may be able to settle disputes through mediation rather than going through a trial. If not, it is in your best interest to have an experienced probate attorney on your side.
Do you have a question regarding an Ohio estate?
If you have questions regarding the probate of an estate or if you want to discuss estate planning options, contact the probate attorneys of Lovett & House Co., LPA. We have three offices for your convenience: Tipp City, Dayton, and Springfield.
Our attorneys have extensive experience assisting clients with estate planning as well as probate litigation. We are sensitive to the emotional aspect of this area of law and we will do everything to make the process as easy as possible for you and for your family.