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Arranging detailed wills is very common for us, but lots of people have very specific instructions regarding the distribution of assets. Here’s a question regarding how inheritance can be protected:

Q: I love my daughter and want her to benefit from my estate when I pass on, but I don’t want her partner to receive a penny off me. Is it possible to ensure that her partner doesn’t get his hands on any of my daughter’s inheritance even if they are married by the time I pop off? Is her spouse entitled to inheritance or is there a way of protecting inheritance from a spouse?

A: There are several ways that you can protect your estate from your daughter’s partner. For example, in your will you could leave your estate in trust for your daughter so that she is only entitled to the income.

If you decide to go down the route of a trust, it should state who will benefit on your daughter's death. This could be any children she may have and also needs to cover the situation should she die without leaving any children. Make sure that the trust has another beneficiary apart from your daughter, so that it can be shown that the trust is not only for the benefit of your daughter.

Another alternative you could consider is a discretionary trust, under which your daughter, her children and anyone else you want to add are named as the potential beneficiaries. Then the trustees will decide which of the potential beneficiaries is to actually benefit and the precise nature and timing of that benefit.

If the situation does end in a divorce, then the court will take into account the existence of a trust in assessing any financial settlement between your daughter and her husband. If it can be shown that your estate is held for the benefit of people other than your daughter, she should not be deemed to own the whole of the estate and so some of it will be protected.

This is a very complex area of trust law and you will need to seek professional advice in order to put the right documents in place.

Talk to Howells about your wills

Do you want to put a will in place that ensures your estate benefits only those who you want it to? Give Howells a call today on 0808 178 2773 or fill in our enquiry form today. With years of experience in providing will writing services, you can guarantee a high level of service.


by Tristan Lewis

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