Getting married more than once is common for many Texas residents. These second or additional marriages may also come with children from previous marriages, and blended families are created. Though some individuals may feel very attached to their stepparents and stepsiblings, it is possible that conflict could arise after a biological parent's passing. As a result, probate litigation could ensue.
Feelings of distrust, disdain or other negative emotions can go from a child to a stepparent or vice versa. The child may wonder about the new spouse's true intentions, and the stepparent may wonder if the child is trying to cheat him or her out of a rightful bequest. If a parent dies and leaves a great deal of the estate to the stepparent or stepchildren, it is not unusual for biological children to question whether that is the outcome that should have occurred.
In a best case scenario, a parent would have informed children and other loved ones of his or her true wishes for the death occurred. This way the surviving family would know whether those wishes were honored or if someone else may have acted unscrupulously in order to gain a better outcome. If additional steps were not taken during the planning process to protect biological children and second spouses alike, conflict may be imminent.
If surviving loved ones believe that there are questions pertaining to a will or other estate planning documents, probate can help determine the validity of the will. However, in order to fully ensure that the estate holder's true intentions are honored, probate litigation may prove necessary. For Texas residents who believe that they may need to move forward with such action to protect their loved ones' legacies, consulting with experienced attorneys may be worthwhile.
Source: paulsvalleydailydemocrat.com, "Special planning for a blended family", March 7, 2018