How can I protect my daughter’s inheritance?


Q. My daughter is getting married soon. What can I do to protect her inheritance after my death? I don’t want her spouse to have half.
— Concerned

A. You can indeed protect the money from your new son-in-law.

The best way to protect the assets is to create a trust in the will or a living trust that would receive the estate assets for the benefit of the child and the child’s children, said Shirley Whitenack, an estate planning attorney with Schenck, Price, Smith & King in Florham Park.

“The trust assets could be used for the health, education, maintenance and support of the child,” Whitenack said. “Assets remaining in the trust upon the death of the child could go to the grandchildren, if any, outright or in trust.”

She said as long as the assets distributed to your daughter are not commingled with the assets of her spouse, those assets would not be subject to equitable distribution in the event of a divorce.

Your daughter can also enter into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in which her spouse waives the right to any assets inherited by your daughter, but such agreements can be easily terminated if both spouses agree to do so, she said.

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This story was originally published on Sept. 27, 2019. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.