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How to avoid an awkward prenup discussion when you have adult children...
Old 08-09-2011, 10:07 PM   #1
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How to avoid an awkward prenup discussion when you have adult children...

I love Robert Frank's "Wealth Report" blog and his book "Richistan". They've opened my eyes to a whole new world of ER activities:

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The Duchess, who is 85 years old, wants to marry Alfonso Diez, a civil servant who is 61. Her children vetoed the idea, saying Mr. Diez just wants her money. So to prove them wrong, she’s leaving them her entire fortune and throwing in several castles to seal the deal.
“Alfonso doesn’t want anything. All he wants is me,” the duchess was quoted as saying earlier this year.
She is fond of pointing out that that each of her kids is divorced, even though she has never split up with any of her husbands.
Duchess Gives Away Fortune For Love - The Wealth Report - WSJ

I wonder if she's counting on any of her offspring to grant her a lifetime tenancy to any of "her" properties...
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:28 PM   #2
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Somehow I doubt if giving away a substantial part of your net assets before marriage is going to be a popular strategy for avoiding matirmonial property issues.
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:31 PM   #3
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It must be complicated to live her life....
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:39 PM   #4
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Damn, that's hardcore.

Ha
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:40 AM   #5
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Quite an amazing story - thanks for sharing, Nords.
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Old 08-10-2011, 05:43 AM   #6
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This seems to happen from time to time.

Remember this incident of love at first sight.

Anna Nicole Smith Gets No Money From Husband's Fortune, Says Court | KissRichmond
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:59 AM   #7
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Not a bad idea. I'm sure she is retaining enough of that fortune to live well. It is predictable that kids will be suspicious in a situation like that. We can all argue that it is none of their business what she does with her life or her money but lots of old folks would not want to alienate their children. DW and I have split our assets and and when one of us dies our portion goes into trust for the kids. The surviving spouse still has access if needed for expenses but it can't be easily stolen away by some slick haired 61 Y/O civil servant who finds 85 y/o addled widow(er) exiting the memory loss clinic.
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:21 AM   #8
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Mom and Dad were married 47 years when Dad died. Mom has had a boyfriend for around 18 years, she considered marriage. Since she and he each have children it should be of some concern. He has a son I have met once and she has 3 kids aged 62-63-64 now, they each had a house.

If he were to sell his house and move into her house and then she were to die or become disabled should he be allowed to own a house my dad paid for? If mom died and left him everything then he died it would all go to a step brother we don't even know. Same as if he died first and we ended up with what should have gone to his son.

They decided not to live together or marry. Now mom sold her house and moved in with my brother so no longer an issue. I can see it being an issue when older couples with adult children and assets marry.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:00 AM   #9
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And just why did she not put it in a trust for her benefit when she is alive and it going to the kids when she dies

Maybe they don't have that option over there....
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:37 PM   #10
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If he were to sell his house and move into her house and then she were to die or become disabled should he be allowed to own a house my dad paid for? If mom died and left him everything then he died it would all go to a step brother we don't even know. Same as if he died first and we ended up with what should have gone to his son.
It is my belief that we would all be happier if we gave absolutely no thought to the assets of our parents or our potential claim to them. Some of the nastiest fights I have ever seen involved actual or expected inheritances, and the whole idea can poison relations between parents and their children, as I think the Duchess of Alba's family illustrates.

My parents divorced after I left home, and they both remarried younger and healthier spouses who have their own children. I'm 100% certain that any assets they have will pass first to their spouses and then to the spouses' children. But so what? They are both much happier married to people they should have married in the first place, it's their money to do with as they please, and I've had a lifetime to build my own assets.
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:49 PM   #11
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It is my belief that we would all be happier if we gave absolutely no thought to the assets of our parents or our potential claim to them. Some of the nastiest fights I have ever seen involved actual or expected inheritances, and the whole idea can poison relations between parents and their children, as I think the Duchess of Alba's family illustrates.

My parents divorced after I left home, and they both remarried younger and healthier spouses who have their own children. I'm 100% certain that any assets they have will pass first to their spouses and then to the spouses' children. But so what? They are both much happier married to people they should have married in the first place, it's their money to do with as they please, and I've had a lifetime to build my own assets.
+1 I have seen a lot of misery among others due to expectations of inheritances. It seems a lot more happiness exists among those who build their own estates and don't dwell on possible inheritances.

Another factor is that the parent can live longer than expected, and depending on health and other factors the expenses of old age can use up much of the estate. Or, the parent can do unexpected things in their old age such as give the bulk of the estate to a charity in their will, assuming that that is what the kids would want as well. Any level of expectation of an inheritance is a huge mistake for most people, IMO.

I love this song, in this context. God bless the child who has his own.





Them that's got shall get
Them that's not shall lose
So the Bible said and it still is news
Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that's got his own
That's got his own

Yes, the strong gets more
While the weak ones fade
Empty pockets don't ever make the grade
Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that's got his own
That's got his own

Money, you've got lots of friends
Crowding round the door
When you're gone, spending ends
They don't come no more
Rich relations give
Crust of bread and such
You can help yourself
But don't take too much
Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that's got his own
That's got his own

Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that's got his own
That's got his own
He just worry 'bout nothin'
Cause he's got his own
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:08 PM   #12
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Here is an "out there" opinion from a widow with no children and who is completely self-sufficient financially...who may re-marry someday.
I have to chuckle at the entire concept of adult offspring being so bold as to think their parent(s) "owe them" money which was earned by the parents during their lifetime, especially to the point of poisoning their parents' future happiness with a new mate. How sickening is that?
Last time I checked, the registration on accounts and investments was in the name of the person who earned, saved and/or invested the money. If that person re-marries, it is their business to do so and bequeath as they feel is appropriate. A will is not a team project.
Any perceived claim by offspring or relatives is completely out of order.
The smell of greed always has an undeniable stench.
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Old 08-11-2011, 07:14 AM   #13
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There is a big difference between greedily thinking you are "owed" an inheritance and watching a parent divert it all to a new family he just encountered, possibly violating the expectations of a dead spouse who helped build the estate. That happens not infrequently with aging parents in early dementia. It devasted the father of a good friend in High School. Dad was an only son who had managed Gramp's Buick Dealership for years with the clear understanding that it would be his dealership in the future. Grams died, Gramps met a young thing, sold the dealership out from under the son, bought a mega-mansion, died and left everything to the new cookie. Was Gramps within his rights? - sure. Was what he did right? - hell no. Especially if Gramps was already suffering early Alzheimers. The kids in the OP link sound like jerks (if the portrayal of their "demands" was accurate) but mom sounds like a caring, if somewhat ignorant, parent.
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:07 AM   #14
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It is my belief that we would all be happier if we gave absolutely no thought to the assets of our parents or our potential claim to them. Some of the nastiest fights I have ever seen involved actual or expected inheritances, and the whole idea can poison relations between parents and their children, as I think the Duchess of Alba's family illustrates.

My parents divorced after I left home, and they both remarried younger and healthier spouses who have their own children. I'm 100% certain that any assets they have will pass first to their spouses and then to the spouses' children. But so what? They are both much happier married to people they should have married in the first place, it's their money to do with as they please, and I've had a lifetime to build my own assets.
Circumstances certainly vary... but one does not have to think too much to come up with scenarios (real ones) that would make anyone cringe.

Well, things worked out... he gets his bride and she gets her husband. What's all the fuss about? After all it is love!

Astonishing riches, but duchess gives it all away to marry civil servant
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:54 PM   #15
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A 'friend' went through two bankruptcies because she kept expecting her mom to die and leave she and her husband about $3 million. Friend's DH would ask to park the Harley and new truck in our garage so mom wouldn't see how they were again wasting money.

Mom is still alive and kicking at 96 and the couple is now divorced. Guess mom had the last laugh after all. Such a shame that 'friend' never did grow up and learn to stand on her own two financial feet.
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:32 PM   #16
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Mom is still alive and kicking at 96 and the couple is now divorced. Guess mom had the last laugh after all.
Wow, a perfect example of why not to count your chickens too early.

I'm with the camp that thinks it's their money, parents should do whatever they like with their estate. The only situation I can think of that would be difficult for me is if my parents decided to split the inheritance very unevenly between myself and my sibling. Despite it being their absolute right to do so, it would bring up old issues of favoritism and sibling rivalries.
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Old 08-11-2011, 08:08 PM   #17
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I'm with the camp that thinks it's their money, parents should do whatever they like with their estate. The only situation I can think of that would be difficult for me is if my parents decided to split the inheritance very unevenly between myself and my sibling. Despite it being their absolute right to do so, it would bring up old issues of favoritism and sibling rivalries.
But your post shows you really are not in the camp that thinks they should do what they like, you are in the much broader camp that thinks they should do what they like within reason. I'm in that camp too.
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:24 PM   #18
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W2R, great song by Billy Holiday. I don't believe I ever heard it before.
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:33 PM   #19
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W2R, great song by Billy Holiday. I don't believe I ever heard it before.
I love it too - - I think it was one of her best.
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:08 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
It is my belief that we would all be happier if we gave absolutely no thought to the assets of our parents or our potential claim to them. Some of the nastiest fights I have ever seen involved actual or expected inheritances, and the whole idea can poison relations between parents and their children, as I think the Duchess of Alba's family illustrates.

My parents divorced after I left home, and they both remarried younger and healthier spouses who have their own children. I'm 100% certain that any assets they have will pass first to their spouses and then to the spouses' children. But so what? They are both much happier married to people they should have married in the first place, it's their money to do with as they please, and I've had a lifetime to build my own assets.

It's not always about the money, my mother passed away at 44yrs, Dad remarried (actually twice) and the sentimental things that had been in my mother's family for 3 generations were passed on to the third bride's children when he died - I have never forgiven my father.
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