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Can an ex-spouse take any of their spouse's trust fund?

Trust funds are a way for some parents and grandparents to pass assets to their children in a controlled manner. A trust fund is a gift that is meant for a loved one and it can be a significant amount of money. But, can an ex-spouse receive any of a trust fund that is meant for the other spouse due to marital property?

In divorce situations, third-party trusts can be a problem during the property division portion of a divorce settlement. There are ways that an ex-spouse can get part of a trust meant for the other spouse. If a judge rules that the trust is marital property, an ex-spouse may receive some of it. If the terms of the trust are vague or open to interpretation there can be problems.

Making sure that the benefactor's intentions with the trust are crystal clear is one of the most important things that should be done in order to make sure the intended beneficiary receives the trust. There should be multiple contingencies spelled out, including supporting a son or daughter-in-law. If these intentions are not clear a person can risk having a major financial setback.

No one expects their marriage will end in divorce. This can be an extremely emotional and traumatizing time for a person. A legal professional skilled in divorce can help their client manage the many different obstacles that need to be tackled before a divorce is finalized. There are many serious financial matters that need to be worked out and that can affect a person for the rest of their lives. Having a trusted advisor who is skilled in divorce law is key in making sure a person's future is not ruined.

Source: forbes.com, "Can your ex-husband benefit from the trust your parents established for you?", Jeff Landers, Feb. 6, 2017

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