Actor and filmmaker Dennis Hopper was 74-years-old at the time of his death in 2010. Two months before he died of cancer, Hopper celebrated his recognition of celebrity on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with his 7-year-old daughter, Galen — Hopper’s fourth child and the daughter of his fifth wife.
Recent reports say the girl, now age 9, is the beneficiary of her late father’s assets, including cash and property worth in excess of $3 million. Hopper allegedly placed the assets in a trust, which cannot be accessed or controlled by the girl’s mother and Hopper’s estranged wife, Victoria Duffy.
The actor and Duffy separated in January 2010. A bitter exchange of accusations followed over the next few months between the estranged spouses. Duffy asserted that Hopper’s children from earlier marriages were influencing the terminally-ill filmmaker to eliminate her from his will.
Hopper requested and was granted a restraining order against Duffy, which ordered the woman to maintain a 10-foot distance from the severely-ill celebrity. The actor told his lawyer he wanted Duffy banned from his funeral but wished for his daughter to attend.
When Hopper died in May, neither Duffy nor Galen attended the funeral services in New Mexico. Duffy claimed she did not want Galen to fly from Los Angeles to Taos alone.
Dennis Hopper lived apart, but was not divorced, from his wife at the time he died. He and his wife had signed a prenuptial agreement that reportedly excluded Victoria Duffy from any inheritance.
Galen received more than half a million dollars in property and $2.85 million in cash from her father’s estate. Reports have not detailed the inheritances, if any, among Hopper’s three other children — two daughters and a son — or his former wives.
Changes in personal relationships — marriages, divorces, births and deaths — often radically affect estate plans. Experts advise thoughtful reviews of beneficiaries and estate documents before predictable and after unpredictable life-changing events.
Source: dailymail.co.uk, “Dennis Hopper’s ‘daughter, nine, inherits almost $3m of his fortune’,” Sept. 18, 2012