A recent column by Liz Weston in the Personal Finance section of the Los Angeles Times focused on the very real concern of adult children about their aging father’s ability to make good financial decisions. Specifically she was addressing a concern of a family about the attention their widowed father was getting from woman at various gatherings. Their fear was: “We’re concerned because of a pattern we’ve seen in other families, where the widower remarries and the new wife convinces him that his kids are only after his money. When he dies, she gets everything.”
Most of us want our widowed mother or father to be happy and to have love and companionship. But we all know families who have been in this exact situation, leaving a family torn apart. I know of one situation where the adult children got nothing when their father died, not even photographs from their childhood.
Ms. Weston offers one path to protect assets in this column: "Protecting an elderly widower's assets." In all cases, be sure to consult with an attorney who understands all of the tax and estate issues.