Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Delay and Blended Families

I came across this article about Peter Seller's estate. Apparently he died before signing a divorce settlement. As a result, the settlement was never enforced. His soon-to-be ex-wife inherited his entire estate, who then died leaving it to her daughter. Seller's three children from prior marriages were left 750 pounds each!

This is a Hollywood story, but carries important lessons for all. First, legal papers are not binding until they are signed. This is true for estate plans, not until they are signed to the carry and legal don't delay in putting your date and signature on the forms. Second, if you have a blended family you really, really need to give some thought to what will happen to the assets when the first spouse dies. If you don't, State statutes will control and may differ from what you would have wanted.

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