I am a stepmother. My stepdaughter, who I refer to as my daughter, is Brittany. She is the greatest stepdaughter you could ever ask for. She has a heart of gold and pure love. She has given us two precious grandchildren. I think our relationship is not the norm. And that makes me happy.
The normal stepmother (or father) is the one that comes along who is just about your age when she marries your dad. She is a little down on her luck, and her four children have not done so well either. But Daddy has promised you (and he promised your late mother) that he will leave the 300 acre farm, which has been in the family for over 100 years—a “century farm”—to you and your brother.
Your stepmother knows this. Why, she told everyone who would listen that she wanted nothing to do with this land which had been so carefully tended and handed down from generation to generation. Daddy made a will which left the farm to you kids in one of the first paragraphs. This is too good to believe, right?
Fast forward ten years. Daddy dies. Stepmother doesn’t look so hot anymore. She is a little worried about finding another one like your daddy. She sees a lawyer, just to be informed. The lawyer fills her in on the ELECTIVE SHARE.
If you have a stepparent, you should be well read on the ELECTIVE SHARE. Put simply (and there are a lot of complicated calculations involved), stepmother can go to Court (within nine months of daddy’s death) and ask for up to 40% of that family farm. And she will get it. That’s the law. Hard to believe, isn’t it?
This is when a Prenuptial Agreement could have saved the day. Come see us.