Today's Evil Beet Gossip

Heath’s Insurance Settles a Year Later


Heath Ledger’s Life Insurance company was able to reach an agreement with his estate and finally agreed to pay out his life insurance policy. Heath’s last documents were drawn up prior to his relationship with Michelle Williams, and so they made no provision for her, or the couple’s young daughter, Matilda. Heaths family pledged to take care of Michelle and the child, and the company’s initial refusal to pay out prompted several of the late actor’s friends to start a trust for the little girl.  



Since the 28-year-old actor died Jan. 22, 2008, Minnesota-based ReliaStar Life Insurance Co. had been balking (it’s an insurance company after all) on making good to Ledger’s sole heir, his 2-year-old daughter with Michelle Williams, Matilda Rose.

Even though the coroner labeled Ledger’s death an accidental prescription-drug overdose, the insurer  suggested Ledger committed suicide, voiding the massive payout.

But on Wednesday, one of the estate’s attorneys, William M. Shernoff, informed Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Luis A. Lavin that the two sides had hashed out an agreement. Eonline



I’m glad they were able to come to an agreement. Michelle and Matilda were obviously huge parts of Heath’s life before he passed, and I think he would have wanted them to be the beneficiaries.

6 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Matilda desrves as much as she can get, not that that will ever make up for losing her daddy. I hope she has some memory of him when she grows up.

  • Michelle is a successful enough actress, it’s not like the child was gonna live in poverty without Heath’s money. But, I’m glad the evil health insurance company came through, wish they would do that more often!

  • As an insurance agent, I’m going to bash and defend ReliaStar. First the bash: If the coroner determined the death to be accidental, then that should have immediately prompted the insurance company to pay the proceeds to the listed beneficiary. The suicide clause would no longer apply, as the death was officially determined not to be a suicide. (BTW, all life insurance policies have a two-year suicide clause. That means no payment for suicide in the first two years of a policy. After that, they will pay for suicide.) ReliaStar was wrong to delay payment once the coroner ruled COD.

    Now to defend the insurance company: ReliaStar is contractually obliged to pay the proceeds to the beneficiary last listed with the company. If there isn’t a beneficiary listed, or the beneficiaries are dead, the proceeds are paid to the estate of the insured. If Michelle Williams or their daugter were not listed on the policy, ReliaStar could not make payment to them, regardless of what anyone wants done. It was up to Heath to update his policy if he wanted his daughter as beneficiary. It’s important when anything important in your life happens, like marriage, childbirth, divorce, etc., you review and update your insurance policies, wills, bank accounts, 401-Ks, pensions, etc, to make sure the proceeds will be paid as you would like them to be paid. ReliaStar was not wrong here; Heath made the ommission.