In the wake of Anne Heche's death, her family is facing a legal battle over her estate, which comes as the late actress' new memoir is set to be released, per Deadline. Anne's oldest son Homer, 20, wants the courts to make him the controller of his mother's estate as she died without a will. He also wants him and his younger brother Atlas, 13, to be named their mother's sole heirs, according to TMZ. However, Atlas' father — actor James Tupper, Heche's former Men in Trees co-star — has stated in legal documents that the actress wanted him to be the one to handle her estate, and he claims to have emails from 2011 that confirm this.
Tupper has also reportedly stated that he believes Homer "is not suitable" to run Heche's estate, listing age as a factor and alleging that Homer and Heche were estranged at the time of her death. Tupper also claims that he has attempted to be in contact with Homer, but that Homer has not made the effort to connect. Homer's legal team hit back at Tupper by telling TMZ in a statement, "We prefer to see the estate administration play out in court and not in the media, as our legal documents speak for themselves." His lawyer, Bryan Phipps, added, "The court appointing Homer special administrator today supports that decision."
Heche, who appeared in NBC's Chicago P.D. as well as the '90s soap opera Another World, died on Aug. 11 at the age of 53. She was involved in a series of car crash incidents on Friday, Aug. 5, the second of which caused a burst of flames that left Heche severely burned. She was admitted to the hospital in critical condition, and sadly never recovered from her injuries. Authorities determined in the days after the crash that Heche had narcotics in her system at the time of the accident.
At the time, a representative for the star announced the tragic loss on behalf of Heche's family and friends. "Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend," the representative stated. "Anne will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy."
"Her bravery for always standing in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact," the statement added. The family's rep also confirmed to PEOPLE that, while Heche was legally dead according to California law, her heart was still beating and she had not been taken off life support in order to allow OneLegacy Foundation enough time to find recipients who will be a match. On Aug. 14 it was announced that organ donor recipients had been identified.