Robin Williams’ family has finally ended the bitter legal dispute over the late actor’s estate. Attorneys on both the sides announced they have come to an amicable settlement.
Robin Williams’ widow and his three children from previous marriages appeared to have come to an understanding and reached a settlement in their legal battle over the late actor’s estate, which included some personal memorabilia that was once worn by Williams himself. The attorneys on both the side clarified that the dispute was settled out-of-court. A petition to that effect has been filed in the court in which the two parties were feuding.
Zachary, Zelda, and Cody were to inherit a major chunk of Robin Williams’ estate. Financial experts have estimated the late actor’s worth to be at least $100 million. After Williams’ untimely death in August, 2014, his three children, from his previous marriages, were set to inherit a major chunk of his estate. However, he had made a special provision in his will for his third wife and now his widow, Susan Schneider Williams.
From a legal standpoint, Robin William had carefully placed the entirety of his wealth into a trust and named his three children as its sole beneficiaries, reported the Washington Post. But, he had also established a separate trust just for his third wife, Susan, which legally granted her custody of the couple’s Tiburon home and all the “contents thereof.”
It was these “contents” that were at the heart of the contention. After Williams’ children reportedly insisted on gaining access to the Tiburon mere months after the actor’s death, Susan claims she was compelled to seek the services of an attorney to safeguard her interests as she “became frightened of the co-trustees invading her home.”
Interestingly, Susan has never tried to lay her claim over what Robin Williams children were set to inherit. The family was feuding over some “maintenance money” and some personal items that were once worn by Williams himself.
Susan had claimed that she was not receiving enough money to maintain the six-bedroom Tiburon, California, home where she lived with her husband before his death, reported Huffington Post. Moreover, she added that a few items that were in the said home had been taken without her permission. The children’s attorney has, of course, denied any wrongdoing.
Susan had further claimed that the contents of the San Francisco Bay Area home she shared with Robin Williams should be excluded from the items the actor left to his children, as they weren’t “part of the estate.” Instead, the items should be categorized under personal artifacts that the two shared.
Jim Wagstaffe, who is representing Susan Williams, had once said that what she is trying to safeguard and claim, as against what the late actor’s children stand to gain, is just a “bucket of water in a lake.”
After the amicable settlement, which is pending the judge’s approval, but is expected to be honored in court, allowed Susan to keep the Tiburon home and she will be paid living expenses for the rest of her natural life. She will also get to keep “the few emotional items she requested,” such as a watch Robin Williams often wore, a bike they bought on their honeymoon, the gifts received for their wedding, and the actor’s wedding-day tuxedo.
Williams’ children, on the other hand, will receive the majority of their father’s personal possessions, including his Academy Award, six Golden Globes, two Emmys, and five Grammy awards, reported the Los Angeles Times.
While the lawyer for the late actor’s children said “the children are relieved to have this behind them,” Susan, too, doesn’t consider this a win.
“While it’s hard to speak of this as a win, given it stems from the greatest loss of all, I am deeply grateful to the judge for helping resolve these issues.”
It is truly heartbreaking to see the family that once shared one of the greatest comedians on earth, having to fight for a few items about which the late actor had given a fair bit of thought.
[Image Credit: Evan Agostini, Jason Merritt, Art Streiber / Getty Images]