The Intense Legal Battle Over Anne Heche’s Estate Continues Between James Tupper and Homer Laffoon

Things are getting spicy in the intense legal battle over Anne Heche’s estate between her ex-husband, James Tupper, and son, Homer Laffoon. The actress was involved in a fatal car accident on August 5th and spent one week in a coma before being declared legally dead.

At the time of her death, Heche didn’t have a legitimate will – leaving many to question who will have control over Anne Heche’s estate. Not only that, but who will be appointed guardian ad litem of her younger son, Atlas, who she gave birth to in 2018 with her then-husband Tupper.

Laffoon and Tupper have been involved in a legal back-and-forth for more than two months. On Tuesday, that legal battle continued in a hearing with Judge Lee Bogdanoff that took less than 15 minutes – and things didn’t go well for Tupper, at all. Still, the battle is far from complete.

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Laffoon wasn’t at the hearing, but his attorney, Bryan Phipps, was – as well as Tupper, his attorney, Christopher Johnson, and Atlas. The first point of business was making sure Tupper had access to his son’s belongings, which had been in Anne Heche’s home for two months.

That matter was resolved rather quickly and it was the only real win for Tupper in the hearing. The next item on the agenda was determining who would be appointed administrator of Anne Heche’s estate. This is where things get spicy because both parties think it should be them.

Laffoon was the initial administrator, but Tupper was trying to petition against it – saying “the issue is the way he’s treated Atlas so far.” According to Tupper, Laffoon wasn’t communicating with Atlas and wasn’t giving him access to the apartment. The judge wasn’t having any of it. 

“Sir, in CA if you’re illiterate you can be an administrator. Ok? If you can’t read, you’ve never gone to college, you can be an administrator. Ok? Maybe he’s not the greatest communicator, that doesn’t disqualify him,” said Bogdanoff after Tupper argued Laffoon wasn’t qualified. 

“We’re not here to pick like the best person. I’m here to decide if he’s qualified, or disqualified,” added Bogdanoff. “In order to prevent disappointment as administrator, I’d have to find that there are grounds for his removal. That’s fraud, conflict of interest, doing something terrible.”

Who Will Be Guardian Ad Litem of Atlas for Anne Heche’s Estate?

The Intense Legal Battle Over Anne Heche’s Estate Continues Between James Tupper and Homer Laffoon
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While it appears Laffoon will continue as special administrator of Anne Heche’s estate, the legal back-and-forth is far from over – the two sides still disagree on who should be appointed guardian ad litem of Atlas. Again, both Laffoon and Tupper believe it should be them. 

Laffoon cites ‘conflicts of interest’ if Tupper were appointed – adding he should be “precluded from serving as the minor’s guardian ad litem based on several actual and potential conflicts of interest,” especially if Tupper was “ever forced to side with one child against the other.”

According to law expert Atousa Saei, he may have a point. “I also don’t think the court is likely to award him as the [guardian ad litem] here. Because remember, if the court does need to appoint someone as the GAL, the court can just appoint a neutral. It doesn’t have to be him,” she said.

Saei continued to explain: 

“[Laffoon] raises up something interesting where he said, ‘Had they been married, during the divorce process, that would’ve been handled, but because they weren’t married, it’s like an oversight on her end where she just failed to change the beneficiaries of some of her accounts.'” So now he’s got the money and they pointed to that as a direct conflict of interest in being appointed a guardian ad litem because they were saying that the estate may actually have to go sue him.”

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Anne Heche’s estate will be divided equally between her two children, Laffoon and Atlas, as confirmed by Bogdanoff. “In the meantime, Homer will continue to diligently administer the Estate pursuant to his authority as Special Administrator,” said Homer Laffoon’s attorney.

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