Writing for Forbes.com, one personal finance contributor noted that about half of his firms disputed probate, estate, and trust cases were between a stepmother and her stepchildren. The writer said distrust was a common factor in the disputes. Say the father died, the children didn’t trust their stepmother to manage the estate if she hadn’t been married very long or if she favored her kids financially. What’s the moral of that story? Close relationships and trust are your most valuable assets.