Anne Heche’s son, Homer Laffoon, passed another legal hurdle Tuesday in his ongoing court battle over the late actress’ estate as her ex, James Tupper, was denied his petition to be named guardian ad litem over their son, Atlas, 13.
“We are pleased—but not surprised—with the court’s ruling this morning denying James’ petition to appoint himself guardian ad litem for Atlas,” Laffoon’s lawyer, Bryan Phipps, said in a statement released to Fox News Digital.
“We look forward to the court resolving Homer’s petition at the next hearing and, in the meantime, Homer will continue to diligently administer the Estate pursuant to his authority as Special Administrator.”
Judge Lee Bogdanoff made the ruling after a 15-minute hearing in which Tupper’s legal team attempted to argue that Laffoon was not qualified to serve as the executor of Heche’s estate.
ANNE HECHE ESTATE BATTLE: HOMER LAFFOON OPPOSES NEW JAMES TUPPER GUARDIANSHIP PETITION IN COURT DOCUMENTS
Bogdanoff responded to Tupper’s lawyer, Chris Johnson, about the reasoning that the 20-year-old is unfit to manage an estate. “He’s not qualified on what basis? In California, you can be illiterate and be an administrator,” he said.
Tupper’s representatives did not immediately return Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
ANNE HECHE’S SON, HOMER, SEEKS PRIMARY ROLE IN HER ESTATE PLAN AFTER LATE ACTRESS REPORTEDLY DIED WITHOUT A WILL
The next court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 30, and Laffoon’s Letters of Special Administration were extended to Dec. 14.
Heche died on Aug. 11 just one week after a car crash in Los Angeles. She was 53. Her manner of death was listed as an accident in a report released by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner.
Tupper, who dated Heche for 11 years and had Atlas with the late actress, initially filed paperwork last week seeking to establish himself as the guardian ad litem of his son, who is legally a minor. Tupper’s documents then go on to request “a bonded, neutral, private, professional fiduciary be selected to administer the subject estate.”
Laffoon quickly responded by filing an opposition to the petition in court documents obtained by Fox News Digital.
ANNE HECHE ESTATE BATTLE: SON HOMER LAFFOON FILES NEW ACCUSATIONS AGAINST JAMES TUPPER AMID ‘PERSONAL ATTACKS’
“As a general matter, Mr. Laffoon does not object to the appointment of guardian ad litem to represent the interest of Atlas Heche Tupper (the “Minor”) in this matter. Mr. Laffoon, however, contends that the specific reasons for appointing a guardian ad litem, as detailed in the GAL Petition, are insufficient to warrant the appointment of a guardian ad litem, especially at the expense of the Minor,” the documents state.
A source told Fox News Digital that Atlas’s interests are already “adequately represented in the proceedings” as they are also Laffoon’s interests. “Anything that Homer does to augment those interests or harm those interests will also augment or harm his own interests,” the source said.
In addition, the “Men in Trees” actor has already received assets from Heche’s estate, according to the court documents.
“Dependent upon Mr. Tupper’s intentions and actions regarding these funds, it may be necessary for the Estate to institute legal proceedings against Mr. Tupper for the ultimate benefit of the Minor,” the docs said.
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Another “motive” in Tupper’s filing is to “avoid liability on legal claims the estate maintains against Mr. Tupper stemming from several agreements concerning the ownership, maintenance, and sale of real properties co-owned by the Decedent (Heche) and Mr. Tupper shortly before the Decedent’s death.”
Tupper allegedly owes the estate “hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential claims,” which ultimately benefited the minor.
Shortly after her death, Laffoon, Heche’s son from her marriage with Coley Laffoon, petitioned to be named administrator of her estate, which still has an unknown value and will need to undergo forensic accounting. Laffoon estimated Heche’s personal property to be worth $400,000 in documents executed on Oct. 5.
Tupper has been contesting the estate planning and claimed that he received an emailed will from Heche in 2011, but prior legal documents stated “the email does not qualify as either a holographic will or formally witnessed will.”
Heche was taken off life support Aug. 14 after being declared brain-dead following the car crash the week before.
She suffered a “severe anoxic brain injury” and remained “in a coma” under medical care at the Grossman Burn Center in West Hills for the opportunity to donate her organs through the OneLegacy Foundation.
Heche was cremated and her ashes will be placed in a mausoleum at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. In a statement to the Associated Press, Laffoon said that he and his brother, Atlas, “are convinced our mom would love the site we have chosen for her; it’s beautiful, serene, and she will be among her Hollywood peers.”
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