Actor Dennis Hopper left his daughter most of his estate when he died while leaving his wife next to nothing. His daughter received cash and property from the property division of her father's estate valued at nearly $3 million, according to reports. The actor's former wife could not resolve her divorce settlement with the iconic actor before he died of prostate cancer in 2010.
Hopper filed for divorce in January 2010, which led to explosive statements in the press by both sides. As Hopper became ill, however, the focus began to shift to his estate's future after his death rather than splitting it with his wife while he was still living. Reports indicate that the balance of the estate will be split among Hopper's three adult children, with his former wife being shut out.
A divorce can sometimes leave one of the spouses with unfair financial support. A marriage is generally assumed to be an equal partnership under law as both sides bring something to the partnership and so assume a reasonably equitable division of property at its dissolution.
The property division of the couple's assets can sometimes be a complex valuation, especially when artwork and real estate is involved. In this case, a sizable portion of Hopper's estate contained works of art whose value is difficult to pin down. Lawyers from both sides may be required in order to ensure that a complex property division goes down as smoothly as possible, especially when the divorce is an especially bitter one.
Source: ABC News, "Dennis Hopper's 9-Year Old To Get 40 Percent Of Late Father's Estate," Susanna Kim, Sept. 19, 2012