More Drama in the Anne Heche Estate Saga

Last month, we wrote an article about the insightful estate planning lessons that could be derived from the Anne Heche case, and this article will provide updates on the saga of her estate and the custody of her minor son. The take home lesson is PLAN AHEAD. Many people do not want to prioritize estate planning, but this celebrity saga is one that shows the importance of proper planning and follow through when it comes to estate planning and guardianship. This article references information reported by at the article.

Who was Anne Heche and what happened?

  • Anne was an actress known for various movie roles including starring in the movie “Seven Days Seven Nights” along with Harrison Ford.
  • As reported by Fox News, the actress died in August in a car crash, leaving behind two sons, one an adult and one a minor.
  • The family indicated that she was “peacefully taken off life support” on Sunday August 14, 2022, after being declared brain-dead.  

Who is involved in the dispute?

  • As of October 15, 2022, a family legal battle is still underway. The players are Homer Laffoon, Anne’s adult son and her ex-husband, James Tupper, who is the father of her minor son, Atlas. 
  • Laffoon, the adult son, made a claim to his mother’s estate as the oldest heir. Tupper, the ex-husband, filed an objection declaring the Laffoon was not suitable for appointment over the estate. 

Did Anne have a will?

  • Did Anne have a will? That is the “Million Dollar Question” so to speak. Laffoon believes there was no valid will, but Tupper has claimed there is a will based on an email from 2011 establishing Tupper as the person in “control” of her assets and an email to her attorneys at the time with that the message should “go into my records as my word until further papers are drawn up.” 

 What are the latest developments? 

  • As of October 15, 2022, as reported on, Tupper and his son Atlas, appeared in court to determine the next steps in their ongoing dispute with Laffoon. According to the article Court found that Tupper did not present enough evidence to halt Laffoon from becoming his half-brother’s guardian ad litem. When Tupper shook his head in disapproval of the judge’s decision, the judge reprimanded him with the statement: “We’re not here to pick the best person. I’m here to decide if he’s qualified, or disqualified.”

Consult the Law Office of David Knecht

While celebrity estate disputes can be fascinating to the public, they also provide a cautionary tale to all of us that death can come unexpectedly to anyone at any age. They are a beacon of warning telling us to prepare early to avoid the messes that can ensue when proper planning is not undertaken and documents are not finalized appropriately and lawfully. Contact the Law Office of David Knecht at 707-451-4502. We have extensive experience in estate planning and can help you prepare to avoid heartbreaking disputes.