Creating a Trust is the Best Solution for Keeping Money Away From a Spendthrift Daughter-in-Law and Son-in-Law

HNWElder Law, Estate Planning

  • Creating a trust limits the ability of beneficiaries to squander trust assets and income.
  • If you have a son-in-law or daughter-in-law who is reckless with money, a trust is a good option.

Creating a TrustI find that many parents genuinely like or dislike their daughter-in-law or son-in-law and don’t want her/him to get any of their child’s inheritance.  They worry that cutting of their estate the in-law by name will get them angry and create bigger marital problems than she/he may already have.  Often these couples have one or more children together.  Is there a solution?

Of course, the parents can ask their son/daughter to use the inheritance for him/her or their grandchildren, but then even if he/she agrees, realistically he/she can share whatever he/she wants with him/her, and he/she might well pressure him/her to do just that.

Instead, have an Estate Planning and Trust lawyer create a plan that provides for a Trust to be created upon your death.  Name your son/daughter as the primary beneficiary of the Trust and your grandchildren the beneficiary upon his/her death.   Name your son/daughter as the Trustee (or you could retain a third-party Trustee).  Set conditions on how much and for what purposes the funds can be used.  For example, you could permit your son/daughter to get only the income from the Trust, or another guaranteed amount.   You could also limit the principal to be invaded only for certain purposes (i.e., healthcare, education, job loss).  This is a good option for keeping money away from son-in-law/daughter-in-law.

Since your son/daughter will have no discretionary authority over how the funds are spent, he/she will not have to defend his/her action(s) to his/her husband/wife.  Also, he/she will be obligated by the terms of the Trust to leave any unused principal to your grandchild/grandchildren upon their death.

To discuss your NJ trust matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at  Please ask us about our video conferencing consultations if you are unable to come to our office.

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq., of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold Township, Monmouth County NJ Trust Attorney

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