Dennis Hopper (1936-2010) – Actor & Director
Dennis Hopper was an actor, film maker, and artist. As a young man , Hopper became interested in acting and eventually became a student of the Actors Studio. He made his first television appearance in 1954 and appeared in two films featuring James Dean. During the next ten years, Hopper appeared frequently on television in guest roles, and by the end of the 1960s had played supporting roles in several films. He directed and starred in Easy Rider (1969), winning an award at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay as co-writer. He was nominated again for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the film Hoosiers.
In January 2010, Hopper filed for divorce from his fifth wife, Victoria Duffy. He and Victoria were at bitter odds when the actor passed away after battling cancer. A report states that Hopper drafted an amendment to his estate plan in March 2010, in which he attempted to diminish his seven year old daughter Galen’s share from 40% to 25%. However, under California law, the amendment may not be valid because changes to an estate plan are severely restricted once divorce papers have been filed. Given that Hopper also had two other daughters and a son, why Galen would have been a 40% beneficiary is a puzzle. Nevertheless, Victoria believes she is entitled to 25% and the trustees want to give her nothing. The battle over Dennis Hopper’s estate continues in court.
Dennis Hopper was a talented actor and director, but even successful actors can fail to plan properly. If you want to minimize the consequences of failing to properly plan your estate, then contact The Mendel Law Firm, L.P. for a free initial consultation on estate planning, trust planning, and/or probate issues.