When your children marry, your family grows. You acquire a son-in-law or daughter-in-law. The wedding may soon lead to new grandchildren for your family to raise. Compassion and inclusion can go a long way toward helping these new members of your family feel like they belong.
However, just because you love your child’s spouse doesn’t necessarily mean you want them to directly inherit any of your assets when you die. Unfortunately, just leaving everything to your child may not be sufficient to keep your legacy in the family.
If there is a divorce in the future, your in-law might be able to lay claim to the assets your child inherits. It is normal and natural to want to make sure that your legacy goes to your children and not to someone who might eventually exit the family.
Extra care with estate planning and keep the inheritance in the family
Those who want to prevent the inclusion of their legacy in a child’s divorce will need to include documents beyond just a last will in their estate plans. It is altogether too easy for people to commingle their inherited assets with marital assets, thus making them vulnerable to property division proceedings if they ever divorce.
You can protect against those possible oversights on the part of your child by creating a trust. When a trust has control over and ownership of the assets you want your child to inherit, there is greater protection against claims by a spouse in a divorce.
The risk of commingling is almost non-existent because your child won’t be the one to manage those assets. Instead, it will be the trustee who oversees the administration of the trust and protect the assets within it from outside claims.
There are estate planning solutions for every unique situation
No estate planning solution is ever a one-size-fits-all product. Customized, specialized estate plans will give you the most protection possible. Regardless of what situation you have in your family and what assets you own, there are typically multiple options available to help you control your estate and your legacy.
Thinking about what you most want to protect, like resources for your children, can help you use the right approach for estate planning.