Anne Heche’s death came as a shock to her friends and family, as well as to the fans who enjoyed her work. The controversy surrounding Heche’s death in a car accident didn’t end with the event itself. There was now a legal battle in court over her estate, but now that battle appears to be over, at least for now.
James Tupper, Anne Heche’s former partner and father of her 13-year-old son Atlas, had filed papers in court alleging that he was responsible for the actress’ estate before her death and that that was what she wanted. However, since Heche does not have a legitimate will, a judge has now ruled that Heche’s adult son, Homer Heche Laffoon, will be in charge of the estate…at least for now. In a statement to ETLaffoon’s attorney, Bryan Phipps, said:
The judge ruled that, at the time, there was simply no legal reason for Homer Heche Laffoon not to act as custodian of Anne Heche’s estate, which is valued at approximately $400,000. The estate will be split 50/50 between Homer and 13-year-old Atlas, but Homer will be the executor of the estate since Atlas is a minor.
There was some disagreement in court on some other points, such as whether Atlas had been able to enter Heche’s home to retrieve personal belongings. Tupper’s legal team claimed he was prevented from doing so, but regardless of the situation, the judge ruled Atlas was allowed to enter the home to get his belongings.
In August, Anne Heche was involved in a single vehicle accident when her car crashed into a residential building, setting fire to both the vehicle and the building. Heche was eventually pulled from the car, but only after firefighters were able to get the fire under control. The actress was in a coma for about a week before being pronounced brain dead and taken off life support.
Tupper was clearly unhappy with the verdict and reportedly shook his head when the judge spoke, something he was admonished for by the judge. He has an opportunity to appeal the verdict, so we’ll have to wait and see if this is really the end of this litigation or just the beginning. He has until October 20 to appeal.