While we hate to think of our children dealing with the pain of divorce, unfortunately, it does happen. Of course, everyone knows one of the hardest parts of a divorce is dividing assets. It’s messy, painful, and can feel like salt in an open wound…
…especially when half of your child’s inheritance walks out the door with their soon to be ex!
That’s right-most parents do not realize that if they leave their children an unprotected inheritance, it will likely become “marital property” and up to half can be taken in a divorce by an ex-spouse! Surely this is not what you intended to happen to your estate when you created your will, and it would likely be a huge blow to your child financially as well.
You may have never thought about the importance of planning your estate to help your heirs withstand a future divorce. Well, now that you know the dangers, it’s time to take action!
A savvy way to avoid such an outcome is to work with a Georgia estate planning lawyer to create a trust that safeguards the inheritance you hope to leave behind someday to your kids. You can structure the trust so the child has access to the funds but limits their “ownership” of them, which may keep them from becoming marital property.
You may also need to avoid providing regularly scheduled distributions to your children, as that money could be considered marital property, as well. It may be wiser to have the adult child request funds from a trustee who is predisposed to provide them.
However, as with all estate planning law, planning to protect assets from a future divorce is complex, so don’t go it alone when attempting to safeguard your children’s inheritance.
Even the slightest oversight in this area could cause much of your hard earned money to wind up in the hands of your ex-in-law, so be sure to work with an experienced estate planning professional in your local community who will help you structure your estate plan legally and properly.
Keep it in your family, even as your family evolves.