Compassionate And Competent

Butte County Landscape

Judge rules on Anne Heche’s estate administration

On Behalf of | Dec 26, 2022 | ESTATE PLANNING - Estate Administration & Probate

When Anne Heche died after a single-vehicle collision in California last August, details surrounding her death became subject to conjecture and debate. The Hollywood star’s fans and loved ones continue to grieve her loss, while certain family members, including her eldest son, have been entangled in a legal battle regarding her estate administration. A probate court judge recently ruled on the case, appointing her 20-year-old son as special administrator of the estate  

The ruling came after a four-month-long battle, which began when the father of Heche’s younger son objected to her older son’s petition. Heche was never married to her younger son’s dad, but the two are said to have dated for more than a decade. This man also claimed that Heche had emailed him her will in 2011.  

Court ruled that the emailed will is not valid 

In addition to naming the eldest son as special administrator, the court also ruled that the emailed version of a will that was sent to her boyfriend does not constitute a valid and legally enforceable document because it was not formally witnessed. The email also failed to meet the requirements as a holographic, which is a testator-signed document that is handwritten. An attorney acting on behalf of Heche’s eldest son issued a statement following the recent court ruling, saying that he and his client are pleased with the result of the proceedings and are glad they can now move forward in administering the estate. 

What to do if legal complications arise during estate administration 

Especially if a sudden death occurs, California families may encounter challenges regarding the estate administration process. A decedent might die without having signed a last will and testament, or as in Anne Heche’s case, someone might file an objection to another person’s petition or challenge a will. Anyone who is facing such issues may benefit from a consultation with an experienced probate law attorney before heading to court.