On September 28, 2017 Hugh Hefner passed away at the age of 91 in the legendary Playboy Mansion. The cultural icon who had saw a share of controversies over the years left an estate worth $45 million and a widow who turned 31 a few short months before the death of her famous husband. Once the death was reported, speculations regarding the distribution of the estate began immediately as many wondered how Hefner’s four children would feel about sharing their father’s estate with their young stepmother. It was soon revealed that an ironclad prenup protected Hefner’s descendants, reminding the world how combining a well-executed estate plan with a legally sound prenup can keep your estate safe for your chosen heirs.
Avoids Will Omission Disputes
Challenging a will is not as unusual as many people believe. There are several reasons that a person may challenge a will, including oral agreements or written provisions that were never added to the actual will. Another reason someone may dispute your will is if they believe they were unfairly omitted. Anna Nicole Smith, a former Playboy model who appeared on four of the magazine’s covers, and her estate were involved in a decades-long legal battle with the estate of her late husband J. Howard Marshall after she was not included in his will. The existence of a prenuptial agreement might have helped avoid the protracted fight over the billionaire’s estate.
A remarriage often creates strain in a family, especially if the children of a previous relationship feel their status within their family is threatened. When money, real estate, or other assets are involved, the situation can grow more problematic for everyone involved. The existence of a valid prenuptial agreement that includes instructions for what will happen in the event of one spouse dying before the other can ensure that all parties know where they stand. A spouse understanding that he or she is not a beneficiary in your estate plan and children knowing that their stepparent will only receive what is outlined in a prenuptial agreement can prevent disputes caused by a lack of understanding.
Litigation over an estate dispute or marital assets can cost thousands of dollars and take years to resolve. Having a prenuptial agreement that prevents your spouse from fighting your heirs for money and a valid will that leaves no room for dispute helps all parties avoid an expensive legal battle. Working with an attorney to make sure your spouse is cared for in the event of your passing and that your heirs are satisfied with the arrangements can help your loved ones while they grieve.
Contact MMZ Law
Creating any type of legally binding contract should be done with the assistance of an experienced estate and trust attorney who is devoted to serving your best interests. The team at MMZ Law understands how important your choices are and we will work with you to make difficult decisions that will ultimately protect your family. Contact us today and schedule an appointment at our Claremont, California office so that we can begin discussing the best ways to preserve your legacy.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY:
MMZ LAW, A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
341 W. 1st St. Suite 100
Claremont, CA 91711
MARIVEL M. ZIALCITA is the founder of MMZ LAW, A Professional Corporation, where she practices in the areas of Elder Law – Medi-Cal Planning Asset Protection, Trust & Estate, Special Needs, Conservatorship, Trust Administration, & Probate. Ms. Zialcita is a frequent speaker on trust and estate matters and holds memberships in the State Bar of California, Trust and Estate Section, The San Bernardino County Bar Association, Wealth Counsel and Elder Counsel. She currently assists in the pro bono legal services program at the James L. Brulte Senior Center in Rancho Cucamonga, California. She is based in Claremont but assists clients throughout Southern California.
This information is educational information only and not legal advice.