The two sons of Alan Thicke, a well-known actor whose claim to fame was the sitcom Growing Pains, have taken their feud with the actor’s widow in to the courtroom. The boys’ lawsuit claims the widow is making threats to demand more of the late actor’s estate than what he specifically left her in his estate planning documents and has indicated she will spread negative publicity about the family if she does not get what she wants.

At issue are two documents Mr. Thicke prepared before he died. The first is the actor’s trust document, and the second is a prenuptial agreement Mr. Thicke signed with his widow which, according to the sons, delineated what the widow would and would not inherit in the even of the actor’s death. According to the lawsuit, the woman has indicated she does not believe the prenuptial agreement is enforceable.

The sons acknowledge the widow is entitled to some of the proceeds of the estate, specifically 25 percent of the actor’s personal belongings and 40 percent of his other property, as well as a $500,000 life insurance policy and some other income from pensions and similar benefits. The sons also acknowledge that the woman is supposed to be allowed to say at Mr. Thicke’s ranch property.

It is not clear what the exact nature of the boys’ suit is or what it is intended to accomplish, especially since the widow has not been accused of actually taking any property, nor has the widow formally challenged the documents at issue. The widow denies the sons’ allegations.

However, this case does illustrate that even when a person engages in estate planning, estate litigation can still erupt, especially when there is a volatile relationship between the children of a person and that person’s second spouse.

Source: CNN, “Alan Thicke’s sons in legal battle with his widow over estate,” Chloe Melas, May 17,2017.