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It’s okay to want your child to inherit and not their spouse

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2021 | Estate planning

When you love your child deeply, you may feel like no one is good enough for them. Unfortunately, your in-law may have proved your fears right over the years. Maybe they’ve had a string of job losses or a history of infidelity that your child has somehow forgiven.

Perhaps they haven’t done anything nearly so dramatic, but you just don’t like the idea of them laying claim to the legacy you plan to leave for your child. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to leave resources for your own children and not anything for their spouses.

As long as you take care during the estate planning process, it is possible to leave something for your child while protecting it both from their spouse and the possibility of a divorce in the future.

It is common for people to only bequeath property to immediate family

Unless you have multiple other in-laws included among your beneficiaries, your child’s spouse likely won’t notice if you exclude them from your estate plan. It is common practice for people to focus on biological and legal family members rather than family by marriage when planning their estates.

You don’t have to explain anything if you create a last will that leaves everything only to your own children. However, you may need to take an additional step to protect your children from losing their inheritance if they get divorced.

A trust can protect your children from one of the biggest inheritance mistakes

A marriage means sharing everything, including a financial windfall. Sadly, your child’s giving and kind nature might mean that they deposit their inheritance in the shared account so that their spouse can squander it however they want. Even worse, if they share access to their inheritance and then later get divorced, your in-laws could claim part of that inheritance in the divorce proceedings.

Using a trust for your child’s inheritance can make sure that their spouse never gains control over those assets and that they would have no claim to your child’s inheritance if they do get divorced in the future. Your child will have the option of using trust assets for the benefit of their households or their spouse, but their spouse will not have a legal claim to those assets. Whether you’re about to start estate planning or want to change your existing plan, including a trust could protect your wishes.