How do I leave assets to my children, and their heirs but not their spouses?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How do I leave assets to my children, and their heirs but not their spouses?

What is the legal way to make sure any money left to my grown children does not go to their spouses, in case of their own death. I want the money and assets to go to their children,my grandchildren my blood heirs. How should this be written up? Do the wives have to ‘sign off’ and promise to distribute funds to the children? How can this be enforced.
For example, if my son would die, I would not want his wife to inherit all the money, and remarry, and use the money frivolously.

Asked on June 15, 2016 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The only way to do this is to NOT leave the money to your children directly, since if the assets go to them, once they have them, they can do with them what they want--and if they pass, will go to their spouses if they will them to their spouses or (if there is no will) under the rules of intestate succession (who gets what, when there is no will). You can't control who gets assets they receive free and clear after your death.
Rather, set up a trust which will pay certain amounts either annually or when certain events occur (e.g. on graduation, on marriage, etc.) or under certain specified needs (e.g. for college; for medical care) to your childlren and other blood relatives (as defined in the trust). The trust can dole the money out on a controlled basis, under the parameters you decide, and only the money doled out at any given time is money your children could give to a spouse--the rest of the money, in the trust, is safe from the spouse(s) and will be given, as per the trust, to your blood relatives.
Any decent trusts and estates attorney can set up a trust like this for you.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption