Less Than an Open Book
The Best of Times|March 2020
After 30 years of marriage, Mom got a brain tumor. Dad moved out and got a new girlfriend. The kids were furious. And things only went downhill from there.
Lee Aronson

Mom re-wrote her will, leaving everything to her kids with nothing going to Dad. Dad and the kids stopped communicating. Then Mom died and the kids tried to get their inheritance. And that ended in a lawsuit. Here’s what happened:

About 20 years ago, Dad had started his own business. Although he was married to Mom at the time, the business was in Dad’s name only. But Louisiana is a community property state. That means that everything a couple earns during their marriage is community property. Half belongs to the husband and half belongs to the wife. Even though Dad’s business was completely and totally in his name only, it was still community property. Dad owned half of the business and Mom owned the other half of the business. Because of Mom’s new will, the kids inherited Mom’s half of the business. But when they demanded to see the business’ books, Dad refused. Is that legal?

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