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Robin Williams’ Family Settles Estate Dispute

It was a sad coda to the already-tragic suicide of Robin Williams. The comedian and Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams died last year at 63. Then his widow and his three children, whose mothers had previously been married to Williams, started battling in court over his estate.

Susan Williams, who was married to the beloved performer when he killed himself in Aug. 2014, filed a petition last December in a San Francisco court asking that her late husband’s possessions that were in the couple’s home at the time of his death not be included in his children’s inheritance. She also claimed that some of those items were taken from the home without her permission.

The judge in the case encouraged the family members to settle their dispute out of court. It seems to have worked. Following mediation, trustees for Williams’ estate announced last month that a settlement was reached.

The precise terms of the settlement between Williams’ children and his wife were not made public. However, Susan Williams’ attorney said that she will be able to remain in the couple’s northern California home and that a trust will be created to provide enough money to maintain the home. She will be able to keep sentimental items such as the couple’s wedding gifts, a watch and a bike that was purchased on their honeymoon.

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Although the settlement still requires court approval, both sides have expressed their satisfaction with the settlement. A representative for Williams’ children said, “I think they’re just very happy to have this behind them.”

No matter how careful people are to draft detailed estate documents, when there are blended families and/or conflicts between family members, no one can guarantee that there won’t be disputes over the estate. Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys can help you assert your rights for what you believe your loved one intended and would have wanted for you.

Source: NBC News, “Robin Williams’ Widow, Kids Settle Fight Over Estate: Attorneys,” Oct. 02, 2015

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