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Paul Walker's last will can be subject of probate litigation

Local residents of Chester County, Pennsylvania, who enjoy watching the 'Fast & Furious' movie franchise, may still recall the tragic car accident that claimed the life of actor Paul Walker. Following the fatal accident, readers may be curious about the late actor's estate, which has been valued at around $25 million.

Based on a report, Paul Walker had drafted and signed an allegedly valid will in 2001, just when he joined the cast of 'Fast & Furious.' Recently, the actor's final will and testament was filed in Santa Barbara Superior Court, naming Paul Walker's father as the executor, his mother as the guardian of Walker's 15-year-old daughter and the daughter as the sole beneficiary.

The actor's estate is expected to generate an additional $8 million, at least some of which is likely due to the release of the upcoming seventh 'Fast & Furious' film in 2015. Reportedly, Mr. Walker owned a $10 million home and other personal property valued at $8 million.

Though there is no indication of it in this case, probate litigation, including the contesting of a will, sometimes happens during estate administration. Once the last will and testament is filed in court, heirs may dispute the distribution of property and assets, especially if there are indications that the will was signed under duress or if there is the possibility of forgery. Another reason behind will contests can be an executor's failure to perform the necessary tasks on time. Additionally, probate litigation is likely to occur when a surviving spouse claims a portion of the estate.

The process of probate litigation can be emotional and financially draining to those who are involved. Disputes over wills and trusts can be prevented through well-established estate planning. Those who are already in the middle of probate litigation should seek legal advice to settle any lingering issues and minimize the costs.

Source: Utsandiego.com, "Paul Walker's estate estimated at $25 million," Feb. 4, 2014

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