Austin Texas Estate Planning Blog

What Happened when Robin Williams’ Wife was Cut Out of Estate?

August 31, 2023 • | Law Office of Zachary D Kamykowski, PLLC
The unexpected death of comedy icon Robin Williams in 2014 set off an explosive battle over his $50 million estate.

Comedian Robin Williams tragically cut out his wife of 19 years, Susan Schneider, from his will. This left her financially devastated. She has now opened up about the painful ordeal of being betrayed by her husband’s will and fighting his children to retain her wedding gifts, according to Fandom Wire’s recent article entitled, “I was still in shock”: $50M Rich Robin Williams Left No Money for Wife, Who Had to Fight His Kids to Keep Her Wedding Gifts from Being Snatched Away.”

Susan thought Robin had an unshakeable bond and ironclad estate planning. However, after his sudden death, she learned that she was cut out from his $50 million estate. As a result, she then had to endure his children trying to claim even her most personal items.

In an interview, Schneider talked of the painful realization that her husband had excluded her from his will. “I was still in shock. Three months after Robin’s death, I was still trying to figure out what had happened,” she said.

Schneider said Robin’s decision to omit her from the will “felt like the most hurtful kind of betrayal.” She was left trying to find out why the man she trusted most had left her so vulnerable.

“[The deal is] “basically what my husband wanted, which was just that I could live in the home until I die. And that’s it. That it would be taken care of.”

While Williams’ decision not to include his wife in the will remains a mystery, it became clear that he’d made significant financial arrangements for his children but nothing for his spouse. To make matters worse, the comedian’s children from earlier marriages challenged Schneider in court to seize the gifts she received on their wedding day. “Some of Robin’s kids were claiming that our wedding gifts belonged to them,” Schneider revealed. She ultimately prevailed in keeping her cherished items.

“I was forced into it, basically. And when I say that, here’s what happened. Two and a half weeks after Robin had left, I was still in shock. And not back in our home.”

Schneider continued, “After being in the trenches with my husband for so long and trying to solve this thing, after seven years together in love, I was told that I might not be able to keep our wedding gifts, that in fact, ‘While you’re out of the house … we need to come in and take everything out. ’Eventually once we’ve gone through it all, you can decide – tell us which items are yours. And we’ll decide whether or not that’s true.’”

In hindsight, Schneider feels Robin likely hid troubling issues during their marriage that led to her being cut from his will. Their happy union had secrets that blew up only after his passing. Schneider now believes Robin struggled privately with serious problems that caused him to cut her out. Her story is a caution for partners who assume wealth will transfer to them. Book a call if you share this concern.

Reference: Fandom Wire (July 30, 2023) “I was still in shock”: $50M Rich Robin Williams Left No Money for Wife, Who Had to Fight His Kids to Keep Her Wedding Gifts from Being Snatched Away”

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