People were shocked by the recent death of actor Paul Walker, who was killed in California car accident. He was just 40 years old when he died, but he was said to be worth about $25 million. Walker was not married and he had a 15-year-old daughter, so many people wondered if Walker had an estate plan in place that addresses how his assets would be distributed.
According to reports, Walker did, in fact, have a will. But much like other wills that involve large sums of money and complicated family relationships, it is possible that at least one party will dispute the will, which has just been filed with a probate court in California.
Before his death, Walker was rebuilding and strengthening his relationship with his daughter. She had recently moved in with him and out of her mother’s home. But after Walker passed away, she moved back with her mother. However, the terms of Walker’s will could complicate the situation.
Walker’s father was named as the executor of his son’s will and he has been put in a fairly difficult position. The actor reportedly requested that his mother be appointed as the legal guardian of his daughter. This could be get ugly, considering his daughter is currently living with her own mother.
Walker also reportedly wants his mother to serve as guardian of the $25 million he left to his daughter. This could certainly be a complicated arrangement for all parties. His parents may be put in an awkward role of legal guardian to their grandchild and the mother of his daughter could be upset if she is at risk of losing this role to someone else. His daughter could also find it difficult to deal with all these changes. Add $25 million to the mix, and there certainly is a lot at stake.
It is not reported if there were restrictions or additional instructions included in his will, but in similar cases involving a young, unmarried parent, people may be thinking of the big picture and simply decide that their assets should go to a child and their parents should serve as guardian if necessary. But often, this can leave a lot of questions for others. In order to avoid these questions or work toward the most amicable solution, people who have questions about complex estate plans may want to consider speaking with an attorney.
Source: Daily Mail, “Paul Walker leaves entire $25 million fortune to daughter Meadow, 15, with instructions to make his mother her legal guardian,” Colette Fahy, Feb. 4, 2014