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Late actor's family battling over terms of trust, prenup

Less than a year after the sudden death of Alan Thicke, the popular actor's two sons are embroiled in a legal battle with Thicke's widow over his living trust and the terms of his prenuptial agreement with his third wife. The 69-year-old, perhaps remembered by most people as the affable dad on the 1980s comedy Growing Pains, suffered a ruptured aorta while he was playing ice hockey in Burbank last December.

Thicke's two adult sons are the co-trustees of a living trust that dates back nearly 20 years. One of them is singer Robin Thicke, perhaps best known for his hit single "Blurred Lines." The two men allege in a petition to the court that their 41-year-old stepmother, Tanya, is trying to get more than the considerable amount left to her by her husband under the terms of their prenuptial agreement. The couple signed the legal document when they married in 2005.

The Thicke sons are asking the court to rule on the distribution of the trust assets, which include a ranch, to Mrs. Thicke and other beneficiaries. According to her attorney, however, the sons are using up the trust's assets by taking legal steps, "attempting to tarnish Tanya's name in the press" and "depleting their inheritances" in the process. He says that there's nothing for a court to litigate.

Court papers filed on Mrs. Thicke's behalf assert that the trust is "not yet in a position to be distributed." The filing also claims that the sons "have not so much as even provided a proposed distribution plan, much less an accounting of the trust's assets, to the beneficiaries or the court."

The sons' attorneys, on the other hand, claim that they're simply trying to settle matters related to their stepmother's challenges of both the prenup and the trust based on California's community property laws.

Even carefully-drafted trust documents can face challenges in court when people believe that they aren't getting what's due them. An experienced California estate planning attorney can help trustees sort out the issues and determine how documents like prenups factor in. They can also work to protect the terms of the trust.

Source: MyNewsLA.com, "Alan Thicke’s sons trying to ‘tarnish’ stepmom’s name?," Toni McAllister, Sep. 08, 2017

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