It is an unfortunate truth that not all in-laws enjoy positive relationships with one another. In fact, a number of people experience hostile or acrimonious relationships with their relatives. While there is no requirement that you like your in-laws or treat them well, this situation can be made much more complex if you have a good relationship with your child and want to make sure that this child receives something through your estate plan. Additionally, if you decide to completely exclude a child from an estate plan, it is likely that a court of law will focus on whether you lawfully removed your child from receiving any assets.
Deciding whether to Disinherit a Child
It can be difficult to decide whether to exclude a child from receiving assets through an estate plan if a problematic in-law is involved. In some situations, parents find it impossible to move past the in-law and resolve to disinherit the child as a punishment. If you are debating disinheriting a spouse, however, this decision should not be made lightly. Disinheriting a child frequently results in a number of complex emotions. If you decide to disinherit a child through a will rather than a trust, the words found in the will will be the controlling factor that prevents a child from receiving assets. To avoid the complications of disinheritance, it is often a much better decision to other options. For example, assets intended for a beneficiary can be held in a trust in such a way that a spouse is not able to access this amount. It is also possible to be assets to grandchildren instead of the child. While skipping a generation in this manner can be insulting, sometimes it is the best possible solution.
The Role of Bloodline Trusts
One of the options used to protect a child’s inheritance when a parent dislikes an in-law is a Bloodline Trust. Some of the common situations when Bloodline Trusts include when in-law poorly manages money, has difficulty staying employed, gambles, is abusive, or is unfaithful. People who create Bloodline trusts are able to realize a number of advantages, which include:
- Assets in the trust are used only for blood relatives.
- Assets are protected from creditors who attempt to collect on debts owed by the in-law
- Assets are not capable of being obtained through alimony or the division of marital property during a divorce
- The trust often terminates at the death of the child, which means that the in-law will not be able to use these assets
Speak with an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer
No matter how much you dislike an in-law, it is important to remember when it comes to create estate plans whether these negative emotions mean that you should exclude your child from your estate plan altogether. Instead, an experience estate planning attorney can often help you determine the best possible ways to avoid placing your child in this situation. If you have questions or concerns about the estate planning process, you should not hesitate to speak with an experience estate planning lawyer. Contact Ettinger Estate Planning today to schedule a free initial consultation.