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Dennis Hopper leaves largest share of estate to young daughter

Sometimes when complex family issues arise, a comprehensive estate plan requires some creative thinking. That would appear to be the case for the estate of actor and filmmaker Dennis Hopper. He was married five times and had four children, and those facts would make the administration just about anyone's estate a bit tricky.

Hopper and his most recent wife, Victoria Duffy-Hopper, were in dispute over a divorce settlement at the time of the actor's death. Although Duffy-Hopper had already signed a prenuptial agreement, she later contested it on grounds of coercion. She also accused Hopper's children of manipulating him into filing for divorce.

The death of Dennis Hopper left the future of his sizeable estate in question, bringing his three adult children into the dispute. After a lengthy debate, all but one unnamed party signed off on the settlement, which leaves 40 percent of the estate to Hopper's youngest child, a 9-year-old daughter.

Her inheritance comes to approximately $2.85 million, though she will not have immediate access to her portion. Instead, her mother will serve as a co-trustee, and the young heir's control over the money will increase as she ages.

Hopper's three adult children will split the remaining 60 percent of the estate, minus some assets that may go to Duffy-Hopper and a long-time employee.

Though no one involved is completely happy with the settlement, Hopper's representatives suggested that the 9-year-old will receive a larger portion due to the fact that Hopper has already supported the older children through the years.

The Hopper estate may remind Florida residents of how important it is to craft a comprehensive estate plan while there is still time. Doing so can prevent future headaches for loved ones and ensure that the wishes of the estate owner are honored in his or her absence.

Source: ABC News, "Dennis Hopper's 9-Year-Old To Get 40 Percent of Late Father's Estate," Sept. 19, 2012

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