Ask The Expert: How can I protect my children's inheritance to make sure it can never be taken from them in a divorce or lawsuit.

posted by: Alexis Martin Neely Personal Family Lawyer

It takes special planning to make sure that everything will pass to your children in a protected manner, so you absolutely want to consult with a lawyer to ensure this is being done right. The old way of leaving assets to kids was to leave it to them outright as long as they were old enough to manage the assets themselves. Today, that’s not the best way.

Instead, I recommend that you leave your assets in a lifetime trust that will be protected for your child (and future generations as well) so long as the assets remain in the trust. Your child can control this trust by becoming a trustee of the trust when he or she is mature enough to manage the funds, but if the trust is drafted correctly, the assets can be protected so they would never be at risk if your child got divorced or was sued. And, this kind of planning will also protect your assets from being subject to estate taxes at each generation.

The important thing here is to make sure you are working with a lawyer who really understands the 'ins and outs' of lifetime trust planning to make sure it’s done right. This is advanced planning and definitely not something you can do yourself.

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Posted by:B PAUL KEY

10/13/2008 12:14:04 AM

How can I protect my fathers estate from possible nursing home or healthcare issues which consist of home, and savings for me and my brother. he made out a will with myself as power of attorney or executer---thankyou

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