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We lost our million dollar beach house   Thumbnail

We lost our million dollar beach house

When Miriam and Rebecca* spoke those words, I didn’t know what to think.

Was there a major storm that wiped their house out?

Were they sued and lost the house in court?

Many years ago, I sat down with Miriam and Rebecca* and they shared the following with me.

Their grandfather had a beautiful beach house in Truro which is a wonderful small town in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

This home, which was a major part of their lives growing up, was now gone.  All that was left was decades of memories of playing on the beach and swimming in the ocean.

Countless meals with their large extended family around an antique oak dining table.

So, what happened?

This house was passed down from their grandfather when he died many years ago to Miriam and Rebecca’s parents.

Their dad passed away and then several years later their mom Elaine* remarried a very nice man named Steve*.  Their mom sold the family home in Somerville* and moved into the beach house full time with her new husband.

Years later, their mom passed away and since she didn’t have an estate plan and owned the beach house in her name alone, it then went to Steve. 

Miriam and Rebecca had a good relationship with Steve and continued to visit him in the beach house with their own teenage kids.  They assumed that when Steve passed, the beach house would transfer to them.

Little did they know, that when Steve died in 2015, he left no Will and since the house was titled in his name alone, the house transferred to Steve’s two grown daughters.

Disinheriting Miriam and Rebecca from receiving the beach house that had been in their family for decades.

Even though Miriam and Rebecca had an amicable relationship with Steve’s two daughters, that seemed to change once Steve’s estate was settled.

Could this story have had a different ending?


Their mom Elaine could have sat down with an estate planning attorney, and had a trust created that titled the beach house in the name of the trust.  The trust would have named Miriam and Rebecca as beneficiaries.  There could even have been a provision that allowed Steve to remain in the house during his life.

You may not have a million-dollar beach house in your family (Actually, this same house today would be worth several million) but you may have some circumstances that need attention.

Second marriages in particular can be a riddled with all sorts of problems.

Feel free to reach out to me to discuss your personal situation.  I’m here to help.

Check out these other blog articles.. 

What Are Estate Taxes?   Click HERE

Before Someone Passes Away  Click HERE

Have questions or something I may be able to help you figure out, schedule a quick complimentary call with me by clicking HERE to see my online calendar

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*Names have been changed

All the best.

Rick Fingerman, CFP®, CDFA™, CCPS®



Financial Planning Solutions, LLC (FPS) provides this blog for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this blog should be considered investment, tax, medical, or legal advice. FPS only renders personalized advice to each client. Information herein includes opinions and source information that is believed to be reliable. However, such information may not be independently verified by FPS.

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