Anne Heche didn’t repay a loan before she died. Now an ex wants her estate to pay up.
The $250,000 life-insurance policy is the only thing her husband, Tom, left her when he died in 2016. It’s worth an average of about $20,000. But it was worth much more when the couple was in their late 20s
A former husband of a Wisconsin woman is suing her estate for nearly $200,000 in legal fees that he says his ex-wife owes him after she died of an illness after a brief, amicable marriage.
Heche’s attorney, Andrew Evers, told The Associated Press Thursday that he was preparing a lawsuit on behalf of his client that may be filed in court this month. Evers said Heche asked for the legal action after he learned she hadn’t paid her $250,000 life-insurance policy and her former husband had not repaid a $50,000 loan that Heche had previously made.
“She had told him that she was going to pay it,” Evers said. “She never got around to it before she died.”
Heche’s story isn’t unique.
Hundreds of people are now suing the estates of dead people over unpaid debts, sometimes in cases that begin with a brief and amicable marriage, followed by a death. More than 1,400 lawsuits have been filed over unpaid bills over the last decade, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.
The financial settlement is not expected to be huge, said Andrew Gaffney, a former Wisconsin bankruptcy attorney: “I don’t see it being like the $1 million figure that’s been thrown out there because most people don’t actually owe anything.”
Heche’s ex, who has not been identified and has not returned messages from The Associated Press, declined to be interviewed for this story. Evers said that the ex is appealing his divorce judgment, and he’s not sure what it’s worth.
Evers said he plans to file a lawsuit in the 10th Circuit Court in Wisconsin, which covers Oshkosh. The court, a division of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, is one of the few courts with jurisdiction to hear the case, Evers said.
He is seeking to recover a portion of his fees and costs related