The battle over Robin Williams’ estate has raged for over a year, but it has now been settled out of court with all parties apparently happy with the outcome.
Robin Williams died on 11 August 2014, and left behind his wife of three years and his three adult children Zachary, Zelda and Cody His wife, Susan Williams, filed a court petition in December 2014 stating that the contents of the home that she shared with Robin Williams should be excluded from the items the actor left to his children.
His children all fought the petition, stating that Susan Williams was trying to change the trust arrangement in place and deprive them of the items that their father intended to leave them.
The very public dispute has now been brought to an end out of court. Susan Williams is to stay in the house and will receive living expenses to maintain the property for the rest of her life. She will also get a watch that Robin Williams often wore, a bike that they bought on their honeymoon, and their wedding gifts.
The exact terms of the settlement haven’t been made public but the lawyer acting on behalf of Robin Williams’ children have said that they are pleased that the legal battle is now over.
Sadly estate disputes are common, especially if the deceased did not leave a Will or their Will lacking in detail or improperly drafted. It’s really important to ensure that your Will is a clear and precise document, so that when you die your family is clear what your wishes are.
In your Will you can list exactly what possessions you would like to go to individual members of your family or friends. You can also state any reasons for your choices if you feel that your family may be confused about your decisions.
It is always best to get a professional to draw up your Will to make sure that it is legally binding and will stand up to any contestation. You can also appoint your solicitor as executor if you feel that your family would not be able or willing to carry out your wishes.
If you would like to write a Will, or need legal advice regarding any aspect of Wills, Inheritance or Probate, contact our solicitors at Slater and Gordon. Call us on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we will call you back.