In a People magazine interview, Robin Williams’ widow, Susan Williams, revealed her reasoning for going to probate court over her husband’s estate. She said she opened up about the issue in order to resolve inaccurate rumors about the probate proceedings.
According to Susan, she felt she was in danger of losing a lot of her possessions, including wedding gifts that her comedian husband had given her, due the loose definition of what was to be considered “memorabilia” in her husband’s estate documentation. She said that Williams’ children, were going to be clearing out different items in her house, even though she wasn’t there, as soon as two and a half weeks after her husband’s death. She was concerned that everything in the house might be construed to be “memorabilia,” and she wanted further legal clarification on the issue.
She says that she decided to stand up for what her husband wanted, and that meant that she needed to go to court. Now, following the conclusion of the probate proceedings, she feels that all beneficiaries of his estate have received what he wanted them to receive. She says that she and her family will be allowed to live in the home that she and Williams shared until she dies, and after that, the property will be split among his five children.
Probate proceedings in New York and elsewhere can be difficult to resolve. When such proceedings involve family members who disagree on the dispensation of an estate, they can be a particularly emotional process. However, with a well thought out estate plan — especially one that is clearly explained to heirs ahead of time — the potential for these kinds of family disagreements can be significantly reduced in most cases.
Source: People, “Robin Williams’ Widow Reveals Why She Went to Court over His Estate: ‘I Had to Fight to Keep My Husband’s Slippers’,” Kara Warner, Nov. 05, 2015