James Tupper is trying to make sure Anne Heche’s oldest son does not become the legal guardian of his younger half-brother with regard to the family’s ongoing probate proceedings.
According to court documents obtained by Page Six, Tupper filed a petition on Monday to be named the guardian ad litem of his 13-year-old son, Atlas Tupper, whom he shared with the late actress.
A guardian ad litem is appointed by the court to watch after someone during a case. In this case, James does not want Heche’s 20-year-old son, Homer Laffoon — whom she shared with ex-husband Coleman Laffoon — to have control over Atlas’ portion of her estate.
“As a minor, Atlas has no ability to hire legal representation to represent his interests in these proceedings,” James argued in the paperwork, which states that the two currently live together.
James further noted that he is Atlas’ “father and only living parent,” adding that he “loves both Homer and Atlas as a father and wants the best for them both.”
Last month, Homer filed a petition to be named executor of Heche’s estate. He requested that he and Atlas be listed as their mother’s sole heirs and also asked the court to appoint him as Atlas’ guardian.Homer is fighting to be sole executor of his late mother’s estate.Getty Images for Christian Siria
James argued in Monday’s paperwork, “In order to preserve family harmony and a healthy, brotherly relationship between Atlas and Homer, and given the complexity this estate will foreseeably involve … a bonded, neutral, private professional fiduciary would be a more appropriate administrator.”
James previously filed his own petition in response to Homer’s, in which he claimed that Heche sent him an email in January 2011 that read, “FYI in case I die tomorrow and anyone asks. My wishes are that all of my assets go to the control of Mr. James Tupper to be used to raise my children and then given to the children.”
But Homer fired back, claiming that the email “fails to satisfy the legal requirements for a valid formal witnessed will” because it “was not signed by [Heche] and does not have two witnesses who signed the document during [her] lifetime.”