Of all the villains to appear in Batman movies over the years, it is often Heath Ledger’s version of the Joker that audiences rave about. While Jack Nicholson is another top pick for memorable performance in a Batman film, Ledger’s exceptional acting and dark portrayal of the character earned him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Sadly, Heath Ledger died of an accidental drug overdose at the young age of 28. The actor amassed a sizeable fortune from the many movies he appeared in during his short career. Although most people are familiar with how Ledger died, few know about the controversy surrounding his estate after his death.
Heath Ledger already had a will in place at a young age to protect the wealth he accumulated from his films. When Ledger executed his Last Will and Testament, he wasn’t married and didn’t have any children. As a result, he decided his estate should be divided equally between his parents and his siblings after if he died.
After the will was executed, Ledger started dating Michelle Williams. The two eventually gave birth to his daughter, Matilda Rosa. Michelle Williams and Heath Ledger never got married and decided to end their relationship after their daughter was born.
After Matilda Rose was born, Ledger didn’t update his will to provide for her. Luckily, Ledger’s family members reached an agreement that would put his fortune in a trust for the sole benefit of Matilda Rose. Had the family not agreed on these terms, this story could have had a devastating ending.
Heath Ledger’s death shows the importance of addressing a pretermitted child ( a child accidentally left out of the will) when creating an estate plan. This is why it is crucial to update your will after the birth of a child.
Have you had a change in your circumstances that might require you to update your estate plan? Call (203) 583-8299 today to schedule your free consultation with our legal team.