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Protecting Your Estate: The Loser In-Law Problem

protect an inheritance
My daughter is getting married soon. What can I do to protect her inheritance after my death?

It’s not unusual for a parent not to fall in love with their child’s choice for a spouse. They may even go as far as to try and make certain that their daughter- or son-in-law doesn’t get their inheritance. You can shield your money from your new son-in-law, says nj.com’s recent article “My daughter is getting married. How can I protect her inheritance?”  It is often very important to us to protect an inheritance from a child’s spouse.

A good strategy is to create a trust, either as part of a will, or a living trust that would receive the estate assets for the benefit of the child and the child’s children.

A trust is a fiduciary arrangement that lets the trustee maintain trust assets, on behalf of a beneficiary or beneficiaries.

Trusts can be created in many ways and can specify precisely how and when the assets can be allowed to pass to the beneficiaries. This can be useful to protect an inheritance from a child’s spouse

The trustee is a person or company that holds and administers the trust assets for the benefit of a third party. A trustee can be given a wide range of authority in the trust agreement. The trustee makes decisions in the beneficiary’s best interests, and they have a fiduciary responsibility to the trust beneficiaries.

Trust assets can be used for the health, education, maintenance and support of a child. The assets that are left over (if any) at the death of the child and any remainder are directed to go to the grandchildren outright or in trust.

Provided the assets distributed to the daughter aren’t commingled with the assets of her husband, those assets wouldn’t be subject to equitable distribution, if they couple were to one day get divorced.

The daughter can also enter into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. With this type of agreement, her spouse waives the right to any assets inherited by the daughter.

Talk these types of situations over with a qualified estate planning attorney. It is worth it to buy the peace of mind that comes when you protect an inheritance from a child’s spouse

Reference: nj.com (September 27, 2019) “My daughter is getting married. How can I protect her inheritance?”


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