Back in 2003, before Heath Ledger met Michelle Williams and they had daughter Matilda, the star drew up a simple will. Now that document, filed recently in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court, appears to be his final testament—and it’s raising a lot of questions. Although he earned millions from movies (including an estimated $6-8 million for playing the Joker in this summer’s Batman film The Dark Knight), court papers list Ledger’s assets at the time of his Jan. 22 death as only $100,000 in cash; a $25,000 Toyota Prius; and $20,000 worth of furniture and fixtures. According to the will, all of these are to be divided between his divorced parents and his three sisters.
So where does that leave Michelle and Matilda? After Ledger’s two uncles told Australian newspapers they feared the pair would not be provided for, his father, Kim, issued a statement saying “they will be taken care of. That’s how Heath would want it.” Robert John Collins, the will’s Australian co-executor, calls the uncles’ allegations “rubbish,” adding that the will was drawn up “long before young Matilda was born.” As for the rest of Ledger’s money, experts say he likely left millions in trust funds in Australia. “It’s typical estate planning,” says Manhattan estate attorney Ian MacLean (who is not involved in Ledger’s affairs).
Meanwhile, Williams is trying her best to keep busy in Massachusetts filming the thriller Shutter Island. A friend says she is “taking things very slowly” with actor Ryan Gosling, whom Williams started dating before Ledger died. “They’re just being friends right now.” Instead, her priority is clearly Matilda. “Heath loved that little girl so much,” says the friend, “and Michelle is trying hard to make sure that she never forgets him.”