If you are someone who, at one time, created a comprehensive estate plan, you most likely established one or more trusts. Trusts are a great way for individuals to preserve certain assets until their beneficiaries are ready to control them on their own. That being said, when spouses get divorced, their marital assets are often subjected to the equitable distribution process. This can include their home, their car, their retirement, and, in some cases, trusts created in their estate plan. That is why it is so critical you safeguard your trusts from divorce. Fortunately, there are several ways in which you may do so, as long as you retain the assistance of an experienced attorney. Please continue reading and speak with our knowledgeable Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys to learn more about trusts, how to protect them, and how we can help you do so.
What can I do to protect my trusts from a divorce?
The first thing you should do, especially if your spouse is listed as a beneficiary on a trust, is to try not to include certain language that guarantees they will receive certain assets. For example, your attorney can write “may,” or “should receive,” instead of phrases such as “shall distribute,” which implies that no matter what, that spouse is entitled to certain assets. Additionally, another way to save your trust from a divorce could be to name various beneficiaries, and not exclusively your spouse. By doing so, you are making it clear to the courts that the trust is for the benefit of multiple people, such as your children, and is, therefore, not all to go to your spouse. Finally, you should note that if you place your assets in a trust where the trustee has complete control, there is a very good chance that courts will not consider the trust marital property when entering the equitable distribution process.
In all, trusts are complicated assets that, if created and managed properly, do not have to be commingled with the divorce process. A comprehensive estate plan goes a long way and can save you greatly in the long run. Our firm has helped countless individuals create effective estate plans over the years, giving them the peace of mind they deserve, and we are ready to do the same for you. All you have to do is pick up the phone and give us a call today.
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Friedman Schuman is an experienced and dedicated legal resource for clients throughout Pennsylvania. We proudly serve clients facing a wide range of legal matters. If you require the services of an effective attorney, please contact Friedman Schuman today to schedule a consultation.