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Trust, prenup at issue following Alan Thicke's death

Florida residents may be interested to hear that a war may be brewing between the children of late actor Alan Thicke and his widow. In 1988, Thicke drafted a living trust. Later, when he married his now widow he entered into a prenuptial agreement with her in September 2004. The couple wed in May 2005.

However, per a petition filed in court by Thicke's children, Thicke's widow is asking for a greater piece of his estate than what she would receive via the trust, and she is claiming the prenuptial agreement the couple had is invalid. She also reportedly maintains that, as she gave up her own work opportunities to support Thicke, she deserves to be compensated for it.

Basically, what is at issue is how the prenup will be interpreted, that is, what assets will be community property that Thicke's widow has rights to, and what assets will be separate property and divided per the language of Thicke's trust. The attorney for Thicke's children states that the issues his widow is raising fall directly under the terms of the prenup, which should be followed. However, the attorney for Thicke's widow states that the prenup was poorly drafted and it is not clear which assets are community property and which assets are separate property.

While most estates will not garner the media attention that celebrity estate disputes do, this serves as a good example of how complex estate planning can be, particularly when one's family situation is complicated and strained. It is important that if an estate plan is to contain multiple documents, that it is carefully executed so that there is no confusion. Doing so goes a long way in ensuring that one's final wishes are met and that one's loved ones are taken care of financially.

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

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