Why Philip Seymour Hoffman's children won't inherit

RACHEL CLUN
Last updated 17:08 22/07/2014
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Reuters

NO TRUST FUND KIDS: Philip Seymour Hoffman's children won't inherit.

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Philip Seymour Hoffman was adamant his three children wouldn't grow up spoiled.

The actor, who died aged 46 in February of a drug overdose, left his entire fortune to his partner Mimi O'Donnell with the assumption she would take care of the children.

Hoffman stressed that he didn't want to set up funds for the kids, telling his accountant he "did not want his children to be considered 'trust fund' kids," according to court documents revealed by the New York Post.

The court-appointed Attorney for Hoffman's children interviewed accountant David Friedman, who "recalled conversations with [Hoffman] in the year before his demise where the topic of a trust was raised for the kids and summarily rejected by him." 

Instead the Oscar-winning actor left his fortune - estimated to be worth $US35 million ($37.35 million) - to O'Donnell.

Freidman said Hoffman thought O'Donnell would take care of their children: Cooper, 10; Tallulah, 7 and Willa, 5.

It will be entirely up to O'Donnell what she does with the money she inherits.

O'Donnell, who is a costume designer and also the artistic director of Labyrinth Theatre company, was with Hoffman for 14 years after first meeting in 1999 on the set of the play In Arabia We'll be Kings.

While the couple never married - Hoffman told his accountant he "simply did not believe in marriage" - Freidman said the actor treated his partner just like a spouse.

The childrens' Attorney James Cahill told the court he supported the view that O'Donnell was Hoffman's defacto spouse.

"The size and nature of the jointly held assets support the position that [Hoffman] regarded [O'Donnell] as the natural object of his bounty," said Cahill.

As well as wishing to prevent his children from becoming spoilt, his will also stipulated three particular cities he wanted them to grow up in.

In his 2004 will, written before the birth of his daughters, he writes that he wants his son to grow up surrounded by culture.

"It is my strong desire [that] my son, Cooper Hoffman, be raised and reside in or near the borough of Manhattan [or] Chicago, Illinois, or San Francisco, California," the actor wrote.

"The purpose of this request is so that my son will be exposed to the culture, arts and architecture that such cities offer."

Unfortunately for his children, Hoffman will not be around to show them the cities himself.

Hoffman had fought drug and alcohol addictions most of his life, and managed to stay sober for 23 years. 

He told the American 60 Minutes program in 2006 he first entered rehab as a 22-year-old university graduate in 1989.

Things began to slip out of his control in 2012 when he bagan abusing perscription drugs, accoring to the Independent.

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This led to a stint in rehab early in 2013, the New York Times reports, after his renewed drug habit led him back to heroin.

Hoffman and O'Donnell separated that same year.

Despite their separation, the childrens' lawyer said the court should still approve his will as there was nothing suspicious about it.

- Sydney Morning Herald

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