Actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman "did not want his children to be considered 'trust fund' kids," according to court documents from his estate proceeding.
The unmarried actor died earlier this year following a drug overdose, leaving behind three children -- Cooper, 10; Tallulah, 7; and Willa, 5 -- as well as a substantial estate. But the New York Post reports that Hoffman's accountant told an attorney appointed to represent the children that Hoffman "summarily rejected" the idea of leaving his children money through trusts.
To whom will his reported $35 million estate go?
Hoffman Left All to Long-Time Girlfriend Mimi O'Donnell
Hoffman's estate will pass to his longtime girlfriend and the mother of his three children, Mimi O'Donnell.
Hoffman's lawyer, David Friedman, told the children's attorney that Hoffman and O'Donnell never married because Hoffman "did not believe in marriage," but that Hoffman treated O'Donnell "as if she was a spouse" and believed that she would "take care of the children" with the money from his estate.
Hoffman's will does, however, make a request regarding where his children are to be raised. His will, written in 2004 before the birth of his two youngest children, states that "it is my strong desire my son, Cooper Hoffman, be raised in or near the borough of Manhattan, Chicago, or San Francisco, California."
Trust Funds for Children
Although Hoffman decided against using trusts as part of his estate plan, there are many different options for those who do.
A living trust is a trust created during a person's lifetime, designed to avoid the expense and time of probate proceedings and the court administration process upon a person's death. A testamentary trust, on the other hand, is a trust included in a person's will that only goes into effect following that person's death.
If you're interested in learning more, an experienced estate planning attorney can explain the different trust options and whether they may be right for your family.