If you have already thought about estate planning, you are ahead of the game. According to AARP, about 60% of Americans over the age of 18 have prepared no estate planning documents. That could be a problem for their loved ones.
However, as you plan, you may discover that creating an estate plan is about more than just money. Many people realize that they trust their family members but may not trust family members’ spouses. Fortunately, there are ways to leave assets to your children but protect those same assets from their spouses.
One key advantage to a revocable trust is that you can add stipulations and conditions regarding your money. You may want to limit the amount of money released at one time, which may help your child avoid spending a huge lump sum foolishly. With a trust, you can specify how your heirs will use their money. For example, you may decree that funds from the trust must go toward education.
It is important that you create a revocable trust rather than an irrevocable trust because the former allows you to change beneficiaries without the consent of those named in the trust. That flexibility can give you an extra measure of comfort throughout your lifetime.
POD or TOD accounts
Include your daughter on your accounts as a beneficiary. You can accomplish this with a payable-on-death bank account or a transfer-on-death brokerage account. The money in these accounts will transfer to your daughter when you die. She can easily keep the funds separate rather than depositing them into accounts she owns jointly with her husband.
One way to prevent your son-in-law from spending the inheritance money you intend for your daughter is to avoid giving money. Instead, leave her your classic car or a collection of valuable jewelry. The items will still add to her net worth, but her husband will likely be unable to squander the wealth. Additionally, if they divorce, it should be difficult for him to lay claim to her inherited items.