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How can I gift my brother $2 million so that his wife can’t get any of it?

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How can I gift my brother $2 million so that his wife can’t get any of it?

He pays her alimony.

Asked on March 28, 2011 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You need to consult with a trusts and estates attorney. There likely are several possibilities--

First, if their assets have already been distributed and there's simply an order or agreement to pay $X per month in alimony, it's entirely likely that gifiting your brother the money will NOT result in having to pay any to the wife; as a general matter, once marital assets are distributed and alimony is set, it is not increased if the paying spouse later does better. There are exceptions though--such as if the alimony was set unusually low due to a claim of hardship, so that it might now be adjusted up; or if there is a belief that you were "sheltering" money that was being hidden from your brother's spouse--so that's why you might want to consider the second option--

A trust could be set up which would pay a specified amount to your brother at certain intervals or under certain conditions; it is often possible to set up trusts that cannot be invaded by claims of other parties.

Trusts and estates attorneys specialize in how to transfer assets. Consult with one, and if possible, bring a copy of the divorce decree or order setting the alimony and distributing assets.

 


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