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How to protect a child’s inheritance from divorce

| May 24, 2021 | Inheritances |

There are a number of reasons that parents in Minnesota might want to create a trust for their child’s inheritance. One of those reasons is concern about what might happen if the child gets a divorce.

Inheritances and divorce

State laws vary, but in general, inheritances are usually considered individual property in a divorce. However, this can get a lot more complicated if the person who receives the inheritance transfers it into a joint account or uses it to pay for something that is shared property, such as renovations on a home. For this reason, the best way to protect the inheritance for the child may be to create a trust that protects it in case divorce occurs.

Reviewing the estate plan

All elements of an estate plan should be reviewed every few years or after any major life changes such as deaths, births, divorces and marriages. Parents should also keep in mind a happy marriage can turn unhappy or that their assessment of a marriage as unlikely to end in divorce might not be accurate. It may be best to use a trust to secure the inheritance.

Trustees

Trusts have administrative costs. A trustee must also be appointed to oversee the trust. While a family member or friend can do this, some people prefer to appoint a professional or a corporation, such as an attorney or a bank.

Trusts can be complex documents, and it can be easy to make errors, such as failing to fund them. Working with an attorney to create them may reduce the chance of these types of errors. Parents should also be aware that beneficiary designations override wills and trusts, so they may need to revise these documents as well if they want the assets to be part of the trust.

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