I thought the process was obvious, but I guess I didn’t explain it well. Let me try from the other side.
Let’s say that your name is John. Your wife Christine just died and left no will. Being that she was a widow, you were her second husband, and she had bank accounts in solely her name from a previous marriage, (including the retirement funds from her previous late husband).
The bank just told you that all you need is identification, a death certificate, and your marriage license, and they will cut you a check from the retirement account that Christine once shared with her husband.
The problem is that Christine’s adult children produce a will from before you married her, and this will says that THEY are the ones who will receive her remaining property. In this case, Florida law says that the surviving spouse gets 1/3 of Christine’s estate before the will is taken into account. Since it is assumed that the surviving spouse gets everything, the surviving children will have to hire a lawyer and go to court in order to enforce this will. In order to fight it, you will have to hire a lawyer as well. By the time all is said and done, the lawyers in the case will cost between 1/3 and 1/2 of the total inheritance. Everyone except the lawyers loses.
The children come to you with an offer: If you agree to take half of the estate, that is still more than what you would get after the court battle. Win for you.
That’s the idea, anyhow.