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The In-Law Problem

A big concern for many people when they are planning their estates, is that they do not trust the people their children married. They fear that a son or daughter-in-law will waste their children's inheritances.

The situation where parents do not get along with their sons and daughters-in-law is a Hollywood cliché. TV sitcoms often feature running storylines featuring the cliché that play out over multiple seasons.


It is based in reality.

There is often tension between in-laws.

In estate planning, this plays out with the parents being wary that their son-in-law or daughter-in-law will meddle in the inheritance of the parents’ own children and waste the inheritance.

A recent example comes to us from the U.K., where someone wrote into a This Is Money advice column and asked how to protect a child's inheritance from a bad son-in-law.

The answer in the U.S. is the same as it is in the U.K.

Instead of leaving a child an inheritance outright through a will, a trust can be used to protect the assets from a wayward in-law.

With a trust, you can make sure the money is only used for things you would want.

If your child gets divorced, the trust can also protect the inheritance in the divorce.

If you have an issue with your son-in-law or daughter-in-law and would like to make sure your child's inheritance is not wasted, then contact an estate planning attorney to get a trust.

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