Estate Planning Can Protect Your Child’s Inheritance From An Untrustworthy Spouse

As parents, watching our children grow into adults and start their own relationships can be scary. We believe in our efforts to guide them in the right direction and trust them to build their own lives and their own families. Sometimes, the person they chose to marry may not have been your choice.

We want to provide for our heirs financially and many of us want to make sure our assets stay within the family and are protected from a spouse in the event of untrustworthiness or divorce. There are ways to structure your child’s inheritance to make sure that it will remain in the family for years to come.

Here’s how: put the assets in a trust.

Trusts provide more control over the distribution of your assets and wealth.  This can be a Trust created during your lifetime or one that is created at your death by the terms of your Will (a testamentary trust).  This trust holds your child’s inheritance and designates your child as the beneficiary. If your child’s inheritance is given to him/her outright, your child takes full control of the assets and, if married, will likely put them in a joint account or jointly control them with their spouse. In a trust, you can detail the assets to be given to your child when you pass away – but you can also dictate what happens to those assets when your child passes away or if predeceases you.

The right to survivorship often assumes assets go from one spouse to the other when the first one passes. However, you can detail in your trust that the assets you are transferring to your child be transferred to your grandchildren if your child dies.

In the event that your child gets divorced, assets held within a trust do not count as marital property. This means the assets will not be included in the division of assets during divorce proceedings.

This makes sure the assets stay in your family without ending up in the hands of that child-in-law you don’t trust with your hard work. Additionally, in the unfortunate event that your child predeceases you, the trust would not automatically transfer assets to the surviving spouse. Your estate would need an update to account for such a change, though, which is why we always stress the importance of keeping your estate updated over time.

At Charleston Estate Planning Law Firm, we always cater to the best wishes of our clients. We understand that families can be complicated and we may not always be on board with the choices our children make. Contact our team and make sure your estate plan matches your actual wishes.

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Charleston Estate Planning Law Firm

At the Charleston Estate Planning Law Firm, we believe that estate planning is all about protecting your family and loved ones in the event of your incapacity or death.

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