Philip Seymour Hoffman didn't want 'trust fund kids,' court docs show

Philip Seymour Hoffman didn't want 'trust fund kids,' court docs show
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 4:34pm

Philip Seymour Hoffman didn't want his children to become "trust fund kids" so he left his fortune to his girlfriend, a court document said.

Hoffman, who died of a heroin overdose in February, wrote in his 2004 will that everything would go to "friend and companion" Mimi O'Donnell, who is the mother of his three children.

His accountant and the lawyer who wrote the will said the actor repeatedly rejected their recommendations to create trusts for the children, according to interviews quoted in a court filing obtained by CNN.

Hoffman told his lawyer that he "did not like the idea of setting up a trust for his children," the lawyer said.

Accountant David Friedman said Hoffman told him he "did not want a trust in any form for his children," according to the court filing. Friedman recalled conversations in which Hoffman told him "he did not want his children to be considered 'trust fund' kids."

It was a decision that Hoffman reaffirmed as recently as a year before his death, the accountant said.

Hoffman told his accountant that "Mimi would take care of the children," he said.

The quotes were in a report filed by the lawyer appointed by the court to represent the children's interest. That report to the New York judge overseeing the probate of Hoffman's estate recommended that the will be accepted.

The will, which named O'Donnell as executor of the estate, did provide for a trust fund for the oldest son in the event his mother was not living when Hoffman died. It was signed by Hoffman in October 2004, when his son, Cooper, now 10, was just a year old and before daughters Tallulah and Willa were born.

Although Hoffman and O'Donnell never married, she is the mother of all three of his children and he treated her "in the same manner as if she were a spouse," the filing said.

Hoffman "simply did not believe in marriage but that did not affect his affinity or relationship with Ms. O'Donnell," the report said.

Hoffman's lawyer said when he wrote the will that the actor instructed him to make sure "his son would be raised in a city with art and culture," which led him to include a clause that asked that he be "raised in certain geographic locales."

"It is my strong desire, and not direction to my guardian, that my son, Cooper Hoffman be raised and reside in or near the borough of Manhattan in the State of New York, or Chicago Illinois, or San Francisco, California," Hoffman stated in the 13-page will.

That provision was in a section that applied only if O'Donnell was not living at the time of his death and if a guardian was to be appointed for his children.

If living in his preferred three cities was not possible, Hoffman requested that his son at least visit there twice a year.

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

Noticeably absent from his list is Los Angeles, given Hoffman's fame as a Hollywood actor.

Hoffman, 46, was found on the bathroom floor of his apartment, a needle in his arm. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators discovered close to 50 envelopes of what they believed was heroin in the apartment, law enforcement sources said. They also found used syringes, prescription drugs and empty plastic bags of a type commonly used to hold drugs, the sources said.

Hoffman, who was nominated for Academy Awards four times, won the Oscar for best actor in 2006 for his portrayal of writer Truman Capote in "Capote." He earned Academy Award nominations for roles in "Charlie Wilson's War," "Doubt," and "The Master."

CNN's Joan Yeam contributed to this report. 

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