Blended families can make estate issues more complicated.
You are a part of a blended family.
Your father remarried.
Now he is gone.
You hate conflict, but feel his estate plan will cause some.
According to a recent Forbes’ article titled “Stepmothers: The Cause Of So Many Estate Fights,” this is a real possibility.
Women tend to live longer than men.
The number of widowed females is almost five times the number of widowed males at 11.2 million versus 2.9 million.
If you are not close with your stepmother, then you are also in good company.
About 80 percent of stepchildren feel this way.
Did your father leave his estate to be managed by your stepmother?
In most situations, this scenario causes conflict and disputes.
Especially if your father remarried later in life and was remarried for a short time.
Some question undue influence over the estate plan, especially when it was created (or changed) right before the death of the husband.
If your father was married longer, his estate plan is more likely to balance the needs of both you and your stepmother..
Another wild card in this mix are the children of your stepmother.
Volumes could be written on this subject alone.
So, how do you avoid unnecessary conflict with your stepmother after the death of your father?
For starters, talk with her.
Also, talk to the estate planning attorney who served your father.
This can give you a better understanding of his wishes.
If your father has not yet passed away, ask him to discuss his plans with you as well.
Perhaps it would be prudent to have your stepmother in that conversation while you are at it.
Secrecy breeds suspicion.
And suspicion leads to litigation.
This way you will not be surprised or make rash decisions in the emotion of the moment when he does die.
Ultimately, this could save you time, tears, and money.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Forbes (January 23, 2018) “Stepmothers: The Cause Of So Many Estate Fights”