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Don't Worry, Matilda Will Be "Taken Care Of"

3/8/2008 8:51 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Heath LedgerHeath Ledger's family was quick to speak out today to quash any ideas that his daughter, Matilda Rose, would not be provided for after his death.

Heath's dad, Kim, released a statement that said, "Matilda is our absolute priority and Michelle is an integral part of our family ... They will be taken care of and that's how Heath would want it to be."

Details of Ledger's will were made public today and it didn't specify anything for his ex-fianceé, Michelle Williams, or their daughter -- that's because it was drawn up back in 2003.

80 COMMENTS

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46.

nobodyelsebrokedownlastnight    

shouldn't matilda get it all?maybe give the family a token but get matilta a lawyer and if her lawyers wish to give heath's family a token fine,but matilda is his heir

2399 days ago
47.

Tatami    

To Sabrina:

I guess I was thinking living trusts, because in my experience, it takes more than a few minutes to update them. It also costs at least $250/hour to see a qualified attorney who deals with living trusts, unless you are qualified or able to remake your own will, get it notarized, and always have someone in your corner who is going to handle your paperwork after you die. I also agree totally with: " I think there should be requirements for any minor child to be provided for from an estate whether there is a will or not, Parents are responsible for their minor children in life, and death shouldn't "let them off the hook." If there is an estate, it should be required that at least a portion go to any minor child to help pay for their upbringing." You are right. There shouldn't be any question that his daughter inherit a portion, if not all, of his estate.

I guess the reality of his death should really strike a chord with all young people to get their acts together and have their wills drawn up, even if they don't have much estate. However, much, much more importantly... they should have clear plans on funeral arrangements and a life insurance policy in case God forbid. After my best friend's mother died and there was much infighting amongst he, his sister and their father over what type of coffin the mother should be buried in, my parents immediately went out and bought plots and had a very clear list of what they did and did not want for their funerals. Now that they are both gone, I am so grateful they did that. I literally picked up a phone and called the mortuary and gave them their account number and the rest was handled perfectly. We don't want to accept that we must die someday, but if Heath Ledger's death taught anyone anything, it's that no one can foresee tomorrow and it's never too early to be prepared. Thank you Sabrina for pointing out some valuable things.

2398 days ago
48.

killa'bro    

the kid will end up in a grave just like her father and eveyone else so what makes them so damn special? .... thats right nothing.... so like i asked before who cares?

2398 days ago
49.

LD    

Dear Go Sox,
thanks for your comments. You said it all and you are so right. Dear Readers, is your will in order? If not possessions, than custody if you have children?

But still, it is sad that we are using a real person's death to bring up these issues. I hope if anyone close to that family ever reads this they will not take offense. Unfortunately many, including myself, don't always think about certain issues until it happens to the celebrity we think we know and admire from the screen.

2398 days ago
50.

DNR87    

I am sure, or can only hope, as his only heir, an attorney ad litem will be set up for probate and Michelle will get something like a trust set up for her daughter.

Now, I'm sure they have a "GREAT" relationship right now. BUT, it's a long time before Matilda turns 18 and a long time for a mother/father-in-law type of relationship to STAY on the straight and narrow and she may marry, remarry and they may not always see eye to eye on Matilda's upbringing. (I myself am not allowed to see my deceased son's son, I know. They had a filty house, I offered to help shampoo the carpet and bam, I'm no longer in the mix.)

So.... She must get that trust set up NOW!!!!! Then it's done. Everyone can go on and money isn't a part of the relationship.

2398 days ago
51.

Tangie    

What kind of fool doesn't amend a will after they have a kid?

2398 days ago
52.

Lekili    

Matilda is a part of their son, why wouldn't the want to make sure she is taken care of?
Everyone assumes they are going to run away with his fortune, they seem like decent people and in my opinion they will do the right thing by Michelle and Matilda.

2398 days ago
53.

Tangie    

The kid is 2 years old, and this fool never changed it to include her? That's what drugs do to you, they are your priority and everything else is crap. What a bastard. And why woud Michelle get anything? They wern't married and she has her own money.

2398 days ago
54.

Loriann    

Matilda should not have to be taken care of. Heath paid $23,000 a month for his apt in SOHO. Of course he had more assets than was mentioned in will. Matilda should inherit from him directly all that she is due. I don't like that statement, taken care of, having had experience with these situations, I hope the family will get an atty and declare Matilda his legal heir. Michelle can take care of herself.

2398 days ago
55.

rminva    

Kudos to Heath's parents for stepping up to the plate. The fact that it is even newsworthy says a lot about about the sorry state of society today.

On another note, there is a lesson in there to anyone that does not have a will or not updated it in awhile. Take care of your loved ones!! Any life changing event (property purchase, birth, marriage, divorce, etc) should at least trigger a review of where things currently are. This is the type of stuff that is often put off until later, because no one wants to deal with it: it's no fun to talk about what happens if/when you die. But it has to be done!! You never know what tomorrow will bring!

2398 days ago
56.

john    

I think it is great that Matilda will cared for, after all her father was a gay cowboy

2398 days ago
57.

Medical Girl    

I cannot comment on why Heath Ledger, or his handlers for that matter, didn't have the foresight to revise his will when he knew he would have a child, or when that child was born.

I can comment that while no one "expects" to die at an early age, many things other than illness kills younger people every day; car accidents, fires, falls or household accidents, etc., the statitical probability of which increases dramatically with the abuse of narcotics, alcohol, depression, etc.

Whether Mr Ledger "expected" to die or not is not the point. The fact that once he was aware that a life that he co-created became his child, part of protecting that child was to see to it that she was "cared for" in whatever way he could, which includes providing her with the financial resources of his estate in the event of his death.

Any person who is responsible for providing financially for another, even if you only have $300 to your name, should be sure that that person is provided for if the provider dies. You never know.

2398 days ago
58.

JulietPappa    

IMHO, none of this is any of your peoples business. So stop thinking you're so much better than him and sort your own lives out.

2398 days ago
59.

LisaK    

If Heath truly cared for his daughter and wanted her to be taken care of He'd have put her in his will after she was born. The child is like 2 years old so Heath had 2 years to put her in his will and he did not. But I am happy to hear that she will supposely be taken care of. I bet that his family will keep most of his money and give very little to the child.

2398 days ago
60.

Baseball Junkie    

Lisa, do you have children? If so, do you have a will to make sure they're taken care of? If not, you have no business judging just like the other people who are judging Heath as a bad father for not updating his will or assuming it was because of his drug addiction. No, he was a normal person, not perfect, not infallible. After all, if he had been infallible we wouldn't be discussing this at all since he'd still be alive. Most people do not make wills. I never did, not because I never thought about it but because the state I live in is a community property state. If I die without a will, all my assets go to my husband. If my husband and I die at the same time, everything goes to our children and is divided evenly between them. This is what my family always does whether we make wills or not, the estate goes first to the spouse and then is divided evenly between the children. My husband's mother would have been executor as the nearest relative and she would have decided who would take care of our children (a moot point now) because we told her and because we trusted her to do the right thing.
It seems as if Heath trusted his father to do the right thing and he made the correct decision. Heath's parents will make sure that his child, their grandchild, will be cared for. That is what families do for one another.
Angel claimed that Heath could have easily sent an email changing his will to include Matilda. No, he couldn't. Emails are not binding in a court of law. He would still have had to go to the lawyer's office and signed the amendment in the presence of two witnesses, neither of whom could be the lawyer. I know because I've been a witness for some living wills because I was in the right place at the right time.
It would have been easier for the nosy judgmental people to accept that he was a good father if he'd made a new will which made allowances for Matilda but making things easier for them is completely unimportant since they are unimportant. The only thing that is important here is that some loving grandparents are going to do the right thing by their granddaughter.

Go Sox

2398 days ago
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