Losing inherited family money via divorce is not an entirely unlikely situation to happen when you consider that over 30% of marriages in UK currently end in divorce. Whilst you won’t be around to see this happen if you’ve already died and your children divorce after inheriting, the thought of this scenario is probably enough to cause you to question if there is something that you can do whilst you’re still alive. If your child’s marriage appears to be on the rocks there are avenues that you should definitely consider exploring.
Very often in a Will you’ll see that the Testator has left their children a gift with no conditions or restrictions. There is nothing wrong with this but it offers their inheritance no protection should they inherit and subsequently divorce. Using specific Will Trusts (there are several types, for ease I’ll be using the term Will Trust) to pass your children’s inheritance into on death means that should your child go on to divorce, unless their spouse is named as a potential beneficiary, the contents of the Trust should not form part of any divorce settlement thus protecting any inheritance that hasn’t been spent from the Trust. Depending on the conditions put in place by you, the Trust funds should be accessible to your beneficiaries via the Trustees.
Unless you choose to make it known, having a Will Trust in place isn’t something that your children would need to know about prior to your death as your Will is a confidential document. So, if you’ve secretly always had your doubts about your son or daughter in law but didn’t want to say so you don’t need to start voicing your disapproval now! A Will Trust that takes effect on death means that it is straightforward to remove or amend it prior to your death so should your child divorce while you’re alive and you consider that there is no longer a risk of family money being lost, you can simply remove the Trust from your Will so that they can inherit without restriction.
If you would like more information on this topic or Wills and Lasting Power of Attorney in general please get in touch via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01903 821010. This article does not constitute advice.