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Legacy Protection Lawyers St. Petersburg Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Lawyer

How Can You Protect Your Child’s Inheritance from Their Spouse?


In some families, parents do not get along with their son-in-law or daughter-in-law. If you think that your child’s spouse is not trustworthy or you want to protect your child’s inheritance from their spouse for any other reason, you may need to consult with an experienced St. Petersburg estate planning attorney.

Many people who create an estate plan want to ensure that no outside predators get their family heirlooms and assets. If you do not want your child’s spouse to have a claim against your assets in the event of their divorce, there are several ways to safeguard your child’s inheritance.

Creating a Trust to Protect Your Child’s Inheritance

Any valid and enforceable trust must involve three individuals:

  • The grantor, settlor, or trustmaker, which is the person creating the trust;
  • The trustee, or the party holding the trust property; and
  • The beneficiary, or the person who benefits from the trust.

As the creator of the trust, you can distribute assets to your children or other descendants after your death in a lifetime trust for their benefit.  If properly drafted, any assets held in this on-going trust for your descendants cannot be accessed by your child’s spouse or another predator.  If your child gets a divorce, the assets in the trust do not become marital property and thus part of the divorce proceedings.

Moreover, your child can serve as trustee of their trust.  But, if you are unsure if your child will use the trust funds for the benefit of their spouse, you can choose a trustee who is independent and would not be influenced by any other family member. If you do not want your son-in-law or daughter-in-law to get any portion of your child’s inheritance, consider creating an on-going descendants trust for their benefit.

Using a Prenuptial Agreement to Protect Inheritance

This is often a sensitive subject for many families.  Unfortunately, you cannot establish a prenuptial agreement for your child and their soon-to-be spouse.  Instead, you will have to explain to your child why having a prenuptial agreement would be ideal to protect their assets in the event of divorce.  Some families even require that a prenuptial (or postnuptial) agreement be in place if the child wants to inherit the money.

Clearly, suggesting a prenuptial agreement can feel unpleasant or uncomfortable for you to discuss with your child. If you wish to help your child create a prenuptial agreement before they become married, seek legal assistance from a knowledgeable attorney.  Prenuptials are very contested documents so it is important it is completed properly.

Other Ways to Protect Your Child’s Inheritance

In addition to creating a trust and/or a advising prenuptial agreement, there are other ways to protect your child’s inheritance. First of all, it is critical that other family members understand what you want. Thus, your estate plan must contain clear and unambiguous language to explain your intentions and wishes.

What that means is that your estate plan must specify that you want your kids, not their spouses, to inherit your assets.

If you want to protect your child’s inheritance from their spouse, you have every right to do so. Consult with a St. Petersburg estate planning attorney to find out how you can safeguard your children’s inheritance. Contact Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP, for a case review at 727-471-5868.

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