We’ve all heard the story where a much younger individual marries a much older person and inherits millions when he or she dies. If you have an elderly loved one that got married in his or her final years, you probably have questions regarding the new spouse’s ability to inherit. No two cases are the same, so if you have suspicions regarding the validity of the marriage and/or the revised estate planning documents, it is important to confer with an estate planning attorney regarding your legal options.
If you were a named beneficiary of your loved one’s estate plan prior to the marriage, your main tool for recourse is to object to the newly drafted Will and/or Trust that names the new spouse as the sole beneficiary. Some of the most common objections include lack of capacity, undue influence or mistake. You may also want to submit evidence that the marriage was a sham. For example, if your loved one was incapacitated, you may be able to have the marriage voided.
It is important to understand that objecting to an estate plan or attempting to set aside a marriage is not an easy task. Thus, you should obtain the advice and assistance of a skilled attorney.
It should be noted that if you have concerns regarding an elderly family member being taken advantage of by another party, you can avoid many of the problems by obtaining a power of attorney and establishing a trust for the person. These types of documents can help you avoid litigation and protect the individual, saving you a considerable amount of time and money. It will also allow you to protect your loved senior citizen from being taken advantage of later in life.
The Astill Law Office has provided high quality legal services for over 30 years. We specialize in wills, trusts, estate planning, and asset protection. If you have any questions about creating a Trust, Will, or estate planning in general, contact The Astill Law Office at 801-438-8698.