Watching your children get married and settle down is wonderful. However, you may have some doubts about the stability of these marriages. Perhaps you believe that your son’s marriage will not last more than a few years, or maybe your daughter has told you that she has considered divorce before. As you approach the estate planning process, you may be concerned about their inheritance falling into the wrong hands as a result of divorce.
If you want to protect your child’s inheritance from a messy divorce, you need to get in touch with a qualified estate planning attorney in New Jersey as soon as possible. You are certainly not the only one to have these concerns, and our estate planning attorneys help resolve these issues all the time. With the right approach, you can protect your child’s inheritance from their spouses and achieve peace of mind.
Inheritance is Considered a “Separate Asset” in New Jersey
Inheritance is considered a “separate asset” in New Jersey, which means that it is not subject to the process of equitable distribution. In other words, your child will get to keep their inheritance without having to split it with their ex. However, things can get a little complex when the inheritance is used to pay for other assets during the marriage. For example, your child may use their inheritance to put a down payment on a home. This is known as commingling assets, and it can lead to inheritance funds being indirectly divided between spouses. In addition, assets such as jewelry and family heirlooms can be subject to the process of equitable distribution if they are not clearly labeled and identified as gifts.
A Trust is an Ideal Solution
The best way to protect your child’s inheritance is to create a trust. This ensures that the inheritance never falls into the wrong hands. Because you are relying on a trustee to oversee your estate, you can ensure that your estate is always distributed in a way that best serves the family’s overall interests. Another important benefit is the ability to distribute wealth in increments. This means that even if a child shares their incremental payments with their spouse, they can continue to receive incremental payments after a divorce. This ensures that the child will be well taken care of long into the future, whether their marriage lasts or not. Perhaps most crucially, a trust allows you to state without any doubt that your child’s spouse should never receive anything from the estate.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching the New Jersey area for a qualified estate planning attorney, look no further than Giro, LLP, Attorneys at Law. Concerns about your child’s inheritance are certainly valid, and we understand the gravity of the situation. With our help, you can prepare for all possible outcomes, including the potential divorce of your child from their spouse. Once you put everything in order, you can continue with your life in a confident manner. Book your consultation today.