Creating a workable estate plan often means spending a lot of time thinking about the unique issues that your family has to deal with. From fighting between siblings to a history of addiction in one of your children, there are many family situations that can inform and influence the way that you structure your estate plan.
One of the more significant considerations that too many people overlook is the potential for a child’s marriage to end in divorce, possibly after you die. The more children you have, the more likely it is, statistically, that at least one of their marriages will end in divorce.
In fact, if there is a large inheritance involved, that money could potentially motivate someone to initiate a divorce in the hope of securing a windfall. By putting the inheritances for your children in a trust, you can effectively prevent any of your sons- and daughters-in-law from making a claim against your legacy.
Lump-sum inheritances are at risk of commingling
Leaving behind a straightforward inheritance that is simply a percentage of the total value of your estate may be the fastest and simplest way to structure your estate plan. However, many people make questionable choices when they receive a substantial amount of money at one time, even if they are well into adulthood at the time of their inheritance.
One issue that often arises is when someone decides to share an inheritance with their spouse or doesn’t consider the legal implications of depositing their inheritance in a shared account. Such an action constitutes commingling and potentially makes the inheritance marital property that would be subject to a division.
By placing the inheritances for your children in a trust, you can structure the way that they access those assets, thereby preventing them from a lump-sum withdrawal and the potential of commingling giving others a claim to those assets.
Be sure that your legacy goes to the people you choose
With a trust, you have the ability to earmark assets from multiple generations of beneficiaries and heirs. You do not have that same amount of control if you use a traditional last will. Using a trust can be one part of a comprehensive plan to leave behind a lasting legacy for those you love.