As a parent, you cannot do much about the decisions your adult child makes. When it comes to a bad marriage, there is nothing you can say or do to change the situation. However, this does not mean you have to sit back and allow your child’s spouse to put his or her inheritance at risk. You have options in Georgia that allow you to maintain some control in this area.
Your best option is to create an estate plan and put safeguards in place that prevent your child’s spouse from accessing any assets you leave your child. Kiplinger explains some estate planning tools can provide you with what you need to ensure only your child benefits from the inheritance you leave.
The big risk
The most important reason to protect your child’s inheritance, according to Kiplinger, is because once he or she receives it, it could become marital property. In the event of a divorce, the court will divide that property, and your child could lose the inheritance.
The only way to protect it is to ensure he or she does not let this happen. For example, if you leave your child money that eventually goes into a shared bank account, then your child loses his or her claim to those funds as separate property. So, your son- or daughter-in-law has every right to ask for part of it.
An easy solution to prevent your child’s spouse from getting access to any part of your son or daughter’s inheritance is to create a trust. A trust allows you to put restrictions on the assets and also provides a way to protect the assets. If your child keeps the assets in the trust, there is automatic protection. You may ensure this happens through trust terms.
You are always protecting your children, and doing so after you leave this world is possible through proper estate planning. If you have a son- or daughter-in-law whom you feel will try to get access to any inheritance you leave your child, then creating a trust can be an effective way to prevent this from happening.