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Late actor's family prepares for court battle over estate

When people of significant means die in Texas or anywhere else, there is the chance that the heirs will be displeased with how the assets were distributed in the will. This is something that occurs with people who are famous and have had more than one marriage and children with multiple partners. It can be a complex issue that often results in probate litigation. Such is the case with a Hollywood performer who unexpectedly died and whose children and wife are disagreeing over his estate.

The death of the popular actor Alan Thicke has led to a dispute between his wife of 12 years and his kids. Ordinarily, issues related to a will and an estate are linked to a lack of planning on the part of the person who died. However, Mr. Thicke is believed to have had an estate plan organized before his unexpected death at age 69. He created a living trust in 1988. He and his third wife had a prenuptial agreement at the time of their marriage in 2005.

However, his children have filed a petition to prevent his third wife from taking a larger portion than they say she should be entitled to. In the petition, the trustees - his children Brennan and Robin - state that his wife wants more than she was supposed to receive based on the terms of the trust. For her part, his wife says that the prenuptial agreement is invalid. She seeks to invoke rights based on previous palimony cases.

While this might seem to be a Hollywood case in which a famous person was married several times, died unexpectedly and the heirs are in a court battle over the estate, it is not unusual for people of significant means to have family members engage in this type of destructive fight over assets. This is true even if steps were taken to have a valid will prepared to avoid it. If there is a will contest or a disagreement over the estate and litigation is necessary, it is essential to have an experienced attorney to go through the process and make sure that the estate is settled beneficially for the client.

Source: wealthmanagement.com, "Alan Thicke's Wife and Kids Could Be Going To War," David H. Lenok, May 17, 2017

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