It prompted me to ask: "What is family in the eyes of the Law?"
During Zach’s early adulthood, he, like many young men, made relationship mistakes. His, regrettably left him with an estranged wife. Seeking to right his first mistake and start anew, Zach had divorce papers drawn and prepared to sign. The day before he would take his pen, sign his name, and end an unhealthy relationship, his life was abruptly taken by a fatal car accident. Zach’s father had supported his son’s decisions and when his son asked for help with buying a home, he readily obliged. He and his son pooled their resources, emptied their coffers and bought the home.
Zach’s father’s vision for his son ended alarmingly on the day he learned of his son’s passing. His stress was only compounded by the fact that the house that he had spent so much of his money in helping his son to purchase would by law be given to Zach’s estranged wife. His father could not bear the fact that a woman who had hurt his son and had very little to do with his family would now possess the most valuable thing in his son’s possession.
You need to tell the law on paper how to take into account familial reality. The only way to do this is with a Living Trust, and to plan for your estate. You can never be sure when a tragedy will strike or to whom it will fall upon.