A few years ago, I drafted a will that splits my assets equally between my two children. I am now concerned about this arrangement. My daughter is married to a man I disapprove of. I am worried he will squander the money and then run off. What can I do to protect my daughter?

First of all, you are not alone. We have been asked this question many times before. Parents (rightly) want to protect their children. It’s hard to see our kids make mistakes and it’s even harder to see someone hurt our children. It’s only natural for you to want to protect your daughter from her spouse and, ultimately, from herself.

Fortunately, there is a way to do this. You will need to update your will. You will also likely need to create a living trust. If you fund a trust with the assets that you originally planned for your daughter to inherit, you should be able to protect her from her husband’s poor judgment. Depending on the language used in the trust documents, you can limit when your daughter may access the assets. You may also put limits on how the assets are to be used. Finally, you can appoint a trustee to manage the assets in the trust. The trustee would control the assets and make decisions regarding the trust. This adds another layer of protection for your daughter.

Please contact our Orange County estate planning attorneys for help with updating your will or with creating a trust.

Our Anaheim, California, estate planning attorneys help clients create wills, draft trust documents, and plan their estates. We would be happy to visit with you or to send you a complimentary pamphlet or DVD regarding California wills and trust law basics. Connect with us by calling  (714) 459-5481, or fill out an online contact form.

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm