Keeping Assets From a Child’s Spouse

After a person has worked hard to amass assets over their lifetime, they may be particular about who they would like to enjoy their assets after they have died. Often, parents would like to ensure that their assets do not fall into the hands of their children’s spouses. A recent article discusses several estate planning maneuvers that can be used to attempt to keep your assets from falling into the hands of your children’s spouses.

Just married and very happy
(Photo credit: almoko)

Individuals should not be concerned that their children’s spouses will directly inherit their assets. Because a child’s spouse is not related by blood, they have no legal claim to your estate. The only way a child’s spouse would inherit from your estate directly is if you name them as a beneficiary in your estate plan.

If you do not name your child’s spouse in your estate plan, he or she may still inherit your assets in a roundabout way. This would occur if your child predeceases his or her spouse. The spouse is a likely beneficiary to the child’s estate, so would inherit your assets through their spouse.

If you would like to keep your child’s spouse from inheriting your assets in the event that your child predeceases his or her spouse, you should set up a trust account for your child’s inheritance. Through the trust account, you can direct that the trust assets will be distributed to you child during his or her lifetime, then to another beneficiary such as another child or grandchild.

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