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Robin Williams' family settles property dispute

New York residents have likely heard about the ongoing legal battle between the wife of the late actor Robin Williams and Williams' three adult children from previous marriages. After Williams committed suicide in 2014, his widow claimed that items from the home she shared with him had been taken without her permission. In December, she filed a petition asking the court to exclude the items in the home from the children's inheritance.

Williams' children and widow have reportedly reached an out-of-court settlement in the estate battle. The exact terms of the settlement were not revealed publicly, but an attorney for Williams' widow said that she would be allowed to keep living in the home she shared with Williams. Expenses for maintaining the home would be paid out of a trust for the rest of her life.

The attorney also stated that Williams' widow was granted ownership of all of the couple's wedding gifts, a bike that was bought on their honeymoon and a watch that Williams wore quite often. Some of the items that Williams' family had previously fought over included a tuxedo that he was married in, watches, memorabilia and photographs from his 60th birthday.

After a person dies, it is common for family members to argue over sentimental objects that may have little or no monetary value. Family disputes could be prevented if people include provisions about personal property in their will. Testators may choose to write specific provisions about who gets what, or they could instruct their heirs to take turns choosing items from their home.

Source: ABC News, "Attorneys: Robin Williams' Widow, Kids Settle Estate Fight," Janie Har, Oct. 2, 2015

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