Schedule A Consultation Today 425-336-2908

Helping You Plan Your Future And Solve Your Problems

View Our Practice Areas

Actor's death raises legal guardianship issues

Many Washington residents don't think about estate planning until they become parents. This is partly due to the fact that beginning a new generation makes one think about leaving a legacy behind, but it is largely due to a very practical concern: Parents must decide who will become legal guardians of their children if they should unexpectedly die while their children are still minors.

Recently, the mother of the late actor Paul Walker filed paperwork to become legal guardian of his 15-year-old daughter. Walker, known for his roles in the "Fast & Furious" movies, died in a fiery car accident last fall.

Walker's will appointed his father to manage his estate, which is estimated to be worth between $16 million and $25 million. It also called for his mother to be appointed legal guardian of his daughter. This raises interesting legal issues because the girl's mother is still alive. Ordinarily, surviving parents are automatically considered legal guardians to their minor children, but Walker's mother argued to a family court that the girl's mother is not a fit parent. Walker's mother said that both the 15-year-old and her mother have been living with her.

Legal guardianship is important even for older children because minors are considered to have legal incapacity due to infancy. Although the term makes it sound like it applies only to babies, the concept means that, typically, teenagers don't have the right to make legal decisions for themselves until they reach the age of majority.

Guardianships can also be important for adults who lack legal capacity due to disability. A Washington attorney with experience in this sensitive but important part of the law can help people to understand how to plan for guardianship in their wills and when the need arises.

Source: USA Today, "Paul Walker's mom seeks guardianship of his daughter," March 20, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Make Your Consultation Appointment

To speak with an attorney at Gellner Law Group about estate planning, probate, trusts, wills or tax controversy, contact our law office in Kent, Washington, today. You can call 425-336-2908 or send us an email. We provide representation across the entire Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us

Kent Office
8407 S. 259th Street
Suite 203
Kent, WA 98030

Phone: 425-336-2908
Fax: 253-852-0400
Kent Law Office Map

Kent Office

Spokane Office
505 W. Riverside Avenue
Suite 500
Spokane, WA 99201

Phone: 425-336-2908
Fax: 509-769-0202
Map & Directions

Spokane Office