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Children sue father's second wife over distribution of his estate

Most people in Lee County are aware of the importance of creating an estate plan to establish how you would like your affairs handled after your death. An unclear plan, or one that is made under questionable circumstances, can lead to unintended family disputes. If, for example, a person’s mental state may be diminished or in some way incapacitated when they create their estate plan, probate issues and questions of validity may arise.

Three of the man who coached the University of South Carolina football team between 1975 and 1981’s children from his first marriage have reportedly filed a lawsuit against their father’s second wife and son from that marriage. According to reports, they are disputing the distribution of their father’s estate and the validity of his last will and testament.

The three adult children who filed the lawsuit claim their father’s second wife took advantage of his Alzheimer’s and dementia to influence him into cutting his other children, and their children, out of his will. His estate is reported worth more than $10 million. The will that the estate distribution was based on was created in 2010, a year after he was diagnosed with dementia. It was not reported whether or not he was ever declared mentally incompetent.

Particularly in complicated estate planning cases, such as when a person has multiple heirs or a complex family situation, an attorney can help to create a plan that makes clear your intentions and desires. Also, if a person has been diagnosed with a mentally debilitating condition, having a lawyer assist with drafting your estate planning documents can help prevent questions of your will’s validity after you have passed on.

Source: The State, “Court battle heats up over late USC football coach Carlen’s $10 million estate”, John Monk, Aug. 31, 2013

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