One concern that people often have when planning their estates is what might happen to their child's inheritance if the child gets divorced. Some people are concerned that an ex-spouse could end up with the money.
Different people have different feelings about their daughters-in-law and sons-in-law. Some treat them as if they had always been a part of the family while others treat them as if they cannot leave the family soon enough.
These different feelings are often reflected in the wishes of parents while estate planning.
Some people want to make sure that if their child ever gets divorced, the ex-spouse does not receive any portion of the inheritance. Other folks do not mind if the ex-spouse gets some of the inheritance.
Recently, Family Studies discussed this issue in "Inheritance and Divorce."
The article discusses a specific case where soon after getting married a man's father created a trust for the man's benefit. About 10 years later the man filed for divorce. One issue in the divorce was how to treat the trust and whether it should be considered marital property.
The court determined that the man's interest in the trust was worth $2 million and decided that it should be marital property. The man's wife was given 60% of the trust's value when the divorce was finalized.
The man appealed and won. The higher court declared the trust was not marital property.
The higher court's decision is the normal outcome. Inheritances are usually excluded from divorce settlements in most states.
Nevertheless, it is best when estate planning to think about what you want and to state specifically in the estate plan what you want to happen in case an heir gets divorced.
Reference: Family Studies (Sept. 6, 2016) "Inheritance and Divorce."