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Are Not All Former Spouses Bums?

scvbh2i1After divorcing her husband of 10 years in 2014, Diane Wagner agreed to pay him $186/week in spousal support. When writing the checks to him, she has used the memo section to write “alimony/adult child support,” “bum,” “loser,” and “FOAD.” Her 61 year old ex-husband recently sued her on the grounds that her notations are causing him emotional distress and caused him to suffer a heart attack.

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If At First You Don’t Succeed, . . . . Forge? (No, Just Kidding).

This is out of a horror movie.  A Kansas City attorney was recently charged with murder for killing her father’s girlfriend of 20 years.  Her father was shot and his girlfriend was repeatedly stabbed then shot at their vacation home in 2010.  Her father did not die from his wounds.  The woman then allegedly forged a health care power of attorney so she could withdraw his medical support 4 days later.  She was charged with his murder a year ago.  Apparently, she was concerned that her father would leave all of his assets to his soon to be wife.  In an odd but clarifying footnote, her mother (her father’s first wife), had spent 11 months in jail for stealing $100,000 from her own mother by forging a power of  attorney 10 years ago.

Points?

1.  If the father had wanted to preserve assets for his daughter he could have executed a pre-nuptial agreement to set forth which assets he would leave his soon to be wife (and what would be left for his daughter).

2.  Along the same lines, he could have executed a trust to provide for his new wife while leaving the remainder to his daughter after the wife’s death.

3.  Preparing a health care power of attorney to address medical needs is essential.   So is ensuring that the person with that responsibility has a copy of the document and is aware of the duties.

4.  When a daughter resents her father and his girlfriend, and her biological mother has already stolen from her own mother, an active alarm system  and a multitude of security cameras would be a worthy investment.  And perhaps a Kevlar jacket.

Prepare a Will, Not a Letter

I confess to never having heard of Latin music and Mexican TV personality Jenni Rivera prior to her death in a plane crash in December.  I similarly confess to never having heard of her estranged 3rd husband, Esteban Loaiza, who plays for the Detroit Tigers.  So why am I blogging about them?

Rivera and Loaiza separated two months prior to her death.  After separating, River left a detailed letter to her sister asking her to take care of her children and business enterprise valued at $25 million in the event of her death.  It is unknown if she had other estate planning documents or a pre-nuptial agreement.

What lessons can be learned from her estate?

1.  When marrying for a 3rd time, one should definitely have a pre-nuptial agreement.  If Dennis Hopper can do this, others should, too.

2.  When leaving on a trip, consult an estate planning attorney about preparing a will/revised a will.  A handwritten note is generally not effective.

3.  When separated from a spouse, revise the estate plan immediately and implement a trust to preserve the assets for the children.

4.  $25 million net worth?  Apparently there is money to be made on Mexican TV and Latin radio for tumultuous personalities.

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All Posts By Jay Brinker

I am an attorney located in Cincinnati, Ohio who practices in the areas of estate planning, probate, asset protection, and small business advice. I make a difficult and bewildering process as simple as possible. Most importantly, I provide "more for less" for my clients.