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Estate planning can be one of the most complex matters for a family to figure out. The complexity continues when there is a second marriage involved, and furthers when there is a large age gap between spouses in a second marriage. One famous case that has proven to be not only complex, but emotional can be seen in the Casey Kasem case.

Radio host, Casey Kasem’s, sudden death has left a fuel of fire for the debate over his estate. Legal battles between Kasem’s adult child and his second wife, Jean, have become chaotic and emotional. Legal battles surround his end of life care and questions about where his remains will be laid to rest. Both Jean and Kasem’s adult child are fueled by Kasem’s $80 million fortune. The lack of well thought out planning in this family’s estate planning has set the stage for disaster.

Kasem’s situation is common amongst families dealing with estate planning with a second spouse involved. Most families trust their spouse to properly and fairly divide their estate with their children. However, lack of planning has proved to be disastrous for this family.

To avoid these family feuds, you may want to consider the following estate planning measures:

  • QTIP Trust – This Qualified Terminal Interest Property will allow the husband’s assets to be set aside in a trust for the wife while she is alive. This is most beneficial for those who have a large age gap between the children from the first marriage and the second spouse.
  • Life Insurance – You can use your life insurance for a specific defined inheritance so that everything is evenly divided.
  • Revocable Trust – This extra layer of legal protection will ensure that the individual’s wishes are granted. It can be altered while the individual is alive, but after their passing, the assets will be dispersed based on the individual’s wishes. Assets will not go through probate through a revocable trust.
  • Good Family Communication – The only way to avoid any unfairness in this type of trying situation is to schedule regular family meetings to ease tensions. Therefore, you will be able to predict and prevent any issues that may arise after your passing.

The experts at Gaudy Law are here to guide you through the estate planning conversation. Contact us today and allow us to ease the process for you and guide you each step of the way.

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