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Can you protect a child’s inheritance from divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2024 | Estate Planning

You would like to leave an inheritance to one of your adult children, who is married. Unfortunately, you are not convinced that the marriage is going to last. You don’t want to leave an inheritance to the couple, just for your child to have to split it with their ex in a few years.

Now, if your adult child is also worried about this eventuality, they can take steps to protect the inheritance. Generally, if they keep it separate and do not commingle it or share it with their spouse, it remains a separate asset during the divorce. But is there anything that you can do to ensure that this happens, rather than leaving it up to them?

Put the money in a trust

One potential solution would be to put the inheritance in a trust. Name your adult child – and only them – as the beneficiary for that trust. This helps to protect the inheritance from both divorce and creditors because it is technically owned by the trust and not by your child.

In this way, you can still pass your assets on to the next generation without worry. Your child can use the money from the trust as instructed, whether they stay married or not. Perhaps they won’t get divorced and your concerns are for nothing. But taking these steps in advance puts safeguards in place in case they do end the marriage, potentially helping to protect your family’s wealth.

Trusts are just one part of estate planning. Take the time to look into all of the legal options you have as you go through this process.