A battle has begun over Anne Heche’s estate.
After the Six Days Seven Nights the death of the actress on August 11, her family is sorting out everything she left behind, and there is already a strong dispute about who should be in charge and what to get.
Heche left behind two sons from two relationships – her 20-year-old son Homer Laffoon, with her ex-husband Coley Laffoon, and 13-year-old Atlas Tupper, from her relationship with her. Men in Trees co-star James Tupper. Although Homer requested to serve as special administrator of Heche’s estate late last month, noting that Heche did not have a will, James, on behalf of his minor son Atlas, is now contesting Homer’s appointment.
Yahoo Entertainment obtained the court document filed by James on Thursday challenging Homer as special administrator. In it, James claims Heche sent him a will on January 25, 2011, when they were still a couple, and asked him to oversee his estate “in case I die tomorrow.” He also outlines many reasons why he feels Homer is ill-equipped for the job, including that he lacks expertise, is unemployed, and was estranged from Heche when she died.
The filing contains an email James said was sent from Heche’s email to himself as well as entertainment attorney Kevin Yorn and his executive assistant. It was titled “Will” and she asked him to be her word until the final papers were drawn up. She requested that, should she die, her assets would go to James with the intention of raising the boys on her behalf, with her assets being divided equally between them. She noticed that each of them get control of their share of the money at the age of 25, and at that time could sell their real estate and split the money. (It doesn’t appear that Heche ever filed an actual will. She and Tupper divorced in 2018 after 10 years, but continued to share a home for the next year with the two boys.)
In the filing, James’ lawyer says that James should have “priority for appointment as administrator” because Heche “makes her intentions clear by writing: ‘It is my wish that all my assets pass under the control of Mr. James Tupper for the use . raise my children and then give to the children.'”
James’ legal team argues that there is “no urgent need to appoint a special administrator at this time” in the first place because Homer’s filing was an attempt to speed up the process. Instead, they should wait until an executor or administrator is appointed under a general probate petition. He then briefly outlines why he claims Homer is “unfit to be appointed personal representative of this estate,” a job he says should go to someone with “experience and sophistication.”
“He’s only 20 years old and he’s unemployed, and he’s been a stranger since [Heche] at the time of her death due to abandoning his university studies and not working to support himself,” James’ filing states.
James goes on to claim that Homer changed the locks on Heche’s apartment, where Atlas lived with his mother, and “refused entry” to his half-brother. He says Homer didn’t respond to “Atlas’ request for his clothes and computer” at the Heche house. He also questions Homer listing Heche’s residence as “vacant” in his court filing, saying it was “concerning” because the actor’s home was “full of her furnishings, jewelry, valuables, files and records, and her transfer authorized in any way by this Court or the law.”
He also says that Homer agreed to go to grief counseling with Atlas but it was a no show. He also says that Homer was a no show at a scheduled dinner with Atlas waiting about 1.5 hours.
“This is of great concern since Atlas is 13 years old, was with his mother on the day of her death, and had repeated contact with Homer,” the filing states. “Indeed, since the death of his mother, Homer has not seen his brother, nor had contact with him.” As a result, James worries that Homer will not act “for his brother’s good.”
James also denies Homer’s court claim that James sent him “negative communications”. He says, “Both [James] and Atlas conveyed nothing but messages of support and love and sorrow to Homer. At this time they both think that the presence of an older brother in their relationship would be very helpful for both Atlas and Homer.”
It was reported earlier this month that Homer asked for control of the estate because Heche died without a will and she has pending projects, including the publication of her book, call me anne, next year. Homer’s attorney at the time clarified that Homer was in the process of appointing a “third-party guardian ad litem” for his younger brother, Atlas, to represent Atlas’ interests in the probate proceedings.”
Homer also spoke out for himself and his brother after Heche, who was brain dead, was taken off life support.
“My brother Atlas and I lost our Mom,” he said in a statement. “After six days of almost unbelievable emotional swings, I am left with a deep and speechless sadness. I hope that my mom is free of pain and will begin to explore the eternal freedom that I like to imagine. Over those six days , thousands of friends, my family, and fans have poured their hearts out to me. I’m grateful for their love, and I’m grateful for the support of my Dad, Coley, and my stepmom Alexi who is still my rock during this time. Good you, Homer.”
On August 5, Heche crashed her car into a house in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles – a fire broke out and she was seriously injured. Blood tests showed the 53-year-old had narcotics in his system. Six days later, she was taken off life support after being declared brain dead. She died of inhalation, thermal injuries and a sternal fracture from blunt force trauma, according to the medical examiner’s official report.
When Heche’s most famous relationship – with Ellen DeGeneres – ended in 2000, she started dating Laffoon, a cameraman she met while making a documentary about DeGeneres. They married in 2001, had Homer in 2002, and split in 2007. Heche went on to romance her co-star James. They had Atlas in 2009 and stayed together until 2018, sharing a house for a year after splitting with their son.