The sudden death of a loved one can be incredibly stressful for any family. But when that person dies without having written up a will, this trying time can become that much more difficult to handle. Such may be the case for 40-year-old actor Paul Walker who recently died in a serious car accident in Valencia just days ago. At the age of 40, not many people think about the state of their estate or even begin planning for what should happen to it in the event of a passing. Now people are beginning to wonder if this could be the case for Walker and are questioning the future of his estate.
The distribution of Walker's estate will hinge primarily upon whether a will was drawn up prior to his death. As we suggested before, many people do not begin working on their estate plans until they reach their 50s, at which time they set aside money in trust funds and describe the division of their assets in a will. According to some sources, it's unclear at this time if Walker left these instructions, begging the question: what will happen to his estimated $45 million estate?
Some speculate that if Walker had drawn up a will prior to his death then he would have likely left a majority of his estate to his 15-year-old daughter Meadow. But without a will, Walker’s estate would be distributed according to California’s intestate succession laws. Depending on his relationship with Meadow’s mother, some of Walker’s estate could be awarded to her. If Walker was not considered married or in a domestic partnership, then the estate could be awarded to his mother and father instead, both of whom are still alive, or his siblings as well.
It’s important to note that while intestate succession would award Meadow a portion of her father’s estate, it may not be the entire $45 million many people across the nation are speculating that she will inherit. Either way, the hope is that the distribution of Walker’s estate goes smoothly, unlike so many other celebrity estates in the past that have not.
Source: International Design Times, "Paul Walker Daughter Inheriting Fortune? Car Crash Death Sparks Debate Over Celebrity Estate Feuds," Ani Palen, Dec. 5, 2013