Estate Planning Attorney, Lisa McDevitt, Discusses Battle Over Estate Plan of Actor Alan Thicke

Law Firm Newswire




Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) June 13, 2017 – There appears to be disagreement over the estate plan of the late Canadian-American actor Alan Thicke, who was most famous for his portrayal of a father who was a psychiatrist in the sitcom, “Growing Pains.”

Alan Thicke suffered a heart attack last December while he was playing hockey with his 19-year-old son, Carter. His two older sons, pop star Robin and Brennan, the co-executors of their father’s living trust, filed a petition in the Superior Court in Los Angeles, in hopes of obtaining directions on the interaction between the 1988 trust, which was amended last year, and a 2005 prenuptial agreement that was signed by Alan Thicke and his third wife, Tanya Callau.

The petition claims that Callau is marked by greed and overstepping her bounds. However, Callau’s lawyer, Adam Streisand, a litigator who works for Sheppard Mullin, states that Callau never tried to secure anything beyond what Alan Thicke had in mind for her. He said Callau is still mourning the death of her husband, and wishes to deal with his sons’ untrue statements in private. However, Alex Weingarten, a partner at Venable LLP, who is representing Thicke’s sons, maintains that they are only trying to respect Alan Thicke’s wishes and enforce his trust.

Virginia estate planning attorney Lisa McDevitt, who is not involved with this case, states, “It is recommended that divorcing couples seek the advice of an estate planning attorney and a divorce attorney in order to avoid any estate disputes that could later disrupt their family upon the death of one party.”

The prenuptial agreement, which is attached to the petition, indicates that prior to the couple starting a life together, they entered the marriage with starkly different resources. Whereas Alan Thicke listed his net worth as $14 million at the time, Callau, who was a model, listed assets worth substantially less. A major point of contention in the estate conflict is the distribution of the $3.5 million ranch in Carpenteria, California that Thick described as separate property in the prenuptial agreement, but which the couple referred to as their home.

Although the prenup states that Thicke was to designate Callau as beneficiary in his will to receive 25 percent of his net estate, including a parcel of the property in the amount of five acres, the trust does not grant her any part of it. The trust only grants her the right to reside there as long as she pays all of the expenses. Such disputes between subsequent spouses and children from prior marriages occur frequently, and can be avoided by seeking legal counsel from an estate planning and divorce attorney.

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