Everyone’s heard the stories of celebrities who died without a proper estate plan in place. It’s been a hot topic in the last few years with Prince and Aretha Franklin serving as unfortunate faces of the phenomenon. However, it’s not just freewheeling entertainers.
Your will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign. However, to think that over 70% of people don’t even have a will is, indeed, quite frightening.
When the first spouse dies, the surviving spouse may not remain as close with his or her stepchildren. Small irritations which were overlooked during the lifetime of the spouse who died, may become outright disputes.
An issue that frequently arises is the treatment of an inheritance received by a spouse during the marriage. The basic rule is that any property received via gift or inheritance during the marriage is exempt from equitable distribution.