In August of 2014, Robin Williams passed away in his northern California home at the age of 63. Williams is survived by his spouse, Susan Schneider Williams and his three adult children from prior marriages, Zak Williams, Zelda Williams and Cody Williams. Robin executed a Will and Trust prior to his death that describe in detail how he intended to divide his estate, which total approximately $45 million.
However, Susan Williams has filed suit against the children seeking a Order from the Court removing the couples’ $7 million dollar home from the items described in the Will and Trust. Robin’s Estate Planning documents contain provisions that leave the majority of the Estate’s “jewelry, memorabilia and personal property items” to Robin’s children. Susan Williams seeks to retain jewelry, memorabilia and other personal property contained in their home as community property. Susan Williams argues that the “memorabilia and jewelry” described in the Will are items only located in Robin’s Napa Valley home, not the home that he shared with Susan Williams. While Susan Williams’ attorney believes that this will not be a contentious dispute, Robin’s children feel that Susan is attempting to re-draft Robin’s Will to better suit her desires.
The legal battle over the Estate of Robin Williams serves as a warning that even when clear planning is in place, a blended family can easily find themselves in Court contesting the Estate of a loved one. If you or someone you know requires assistance with an Estate Litigation matter or simply wants to plan around potential Estate Litigation, contact the experienced attorneys at Ford + Bergner LLP today.