Planning Around Your Children’s Spouses

Inheritance moneyWhen deciding who gets what in your will, what do you do to make sure your children’s spouses don’t get anything?

This was the question in a column on recently.

The questioner wondered if it would be best to leave the spouse a nominal amount so that the spouse could not contest the will.

The answer noted that you are not obligated to leave your money to anyone. As a result, it is unnecessary to leave a nominal amount if you want to exclude someone.

It is your money and you can leave it to whomever you want, the columnist noted.

And that is especially true of spouses of your children, the writer noted. They have no legal right to inherit your property directly. The only way you can is if you take steps to include them in the inheritance.

Of course, there are indirect ways a spouse could get some of your money. It is likely that the inheritance would be co-mingled with marital assets so the spouse could see an indirect benefit.

Also, if the child were to divorce, it is possible that an inheritance could be included in the marital assets when a division of property is being considered.

If you have concerns about this, the writer says, you can set up a trust to protect the money. The trust would be set up strictly for your child’s benefit. You can even limit or eliminate any indirect benefit.

Another way to cut the spouse out is to leave your money to grandchildren.

If you have questions about estate planning, feel free to contact us for a consultation at (626) 696-3145.

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