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Protecting trusts in the event of a divorce

Most people in Georgia work hard to support themselves in life. Many are successful enough that they have assets to leave behind for family members after their death. However, there are many special considerations when it comes to distributing assets. For example, some people want to ensure that family members retain the asset, rather than it being divided with a spouse in the event of a divorce. Fortunately, there are some ways to protect an estate in the event a beneficiary seeks to end his or her marriage, including the creation of trusts.

There are a variety of ways to protect assets obtained through an inheritance from division in a divorce. One option is to ensure that they are titled only in the beneficiary's name. Ensuring that an inherited property is kept completely separate from marital assets can help the beneficiary maintain the asset as separate property. 

Often, people choose to distribute their estate through trusts. Because assets in a trust are not owned directly by the beneficiary, most states do not recognize them as marital property. However, some courts may take them into consideration when calculating child or spousal support. The trust could be more at risk to division in a divorce if the beneficiary is the trust's sole trustee. Listing a co-trustee can help in this situation.

Many matters of estate planning are unique to the situation. An attorney with experience in creating trusts and other aspects of planning an estate can help a person in Georgia consider how his or her estate will be distributed examine all aspects and consider all potential outcomes. Such a professional can help ensure that the person's wishes are known, enforceable and safeguarded against a successful challenge.

Source: wtop.com, "How to protect inheritances for future generations", Nina Mitchell, April 19, 2017

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