How to prevent son-in-law from getting my inheritance?

People often ask “How to prevent son-in-law from getting my inheritance?”. To prevent a son-in-law from receiving an inheritance, estate planning offers several options. One option involves establishing a Bloodline Trust, which restricts distributions solely to descendants. Another approach entails placing the inheritance funds in a trust account, effectively segregating them from marital assets and enabling parents to exert greater control over the bequeathed assets. In this scenario, parents can designate a third-party trustee to oversee the trust on behalf of their child. Alternatively, parents can choose to bequeath the money to their children through an irrevocable trust, ensuring that the legacy passes to their children and grandchildren rather than their spouse in the event of future divorce or death. Additionally, individuals can opt to sign prenuptial or postnuptial agreements to negotiate the separation of the future inheritance from marital property.

Update your will

  1. Keep Your Will Updated: Ensure that your will is current and explicitly states the intended beneficiaries for your assets and property. Regular updates are crucial to accurately reflect your wishes.
  2. Include Disinheritance Language: Consider incorporating explicit language in your will to disinherit your son-in-law, preventing them from receiving any part of your child’s inheritance.
  3. Use Clear and Specific Language: Make your will as clear as possible, as it serves as a posthumous personal statement. There will be no opportunity for clarification after your passing, so clearly specify whom you are disinheriting.
  4. Consult an Estate Planning Attorney: Seek the expertise of an estate planning attorney to navigate the legal requirements for disinheriting someone. They can ensure your will is legally valid, explore alternative protection options like trust funds, and advise on spendthrift trusts.
  5. Regularly Review Your Will: Life changes can impact your estate plan, so routinely review your will and make necessary updates. This practice helps ensure your child’s inheritance remains shielded from their spouse and potential threats.

Create a trust fund

  1. Establish a Trust Fund: Place your child’s inheritance into a trust fund, a legal entity designed to hold and manage assets on behalf of beneficiaries. This step ensures that the inheritance is safeguarded and managed in line with your specific wishes.
  2. Consider an Ongoing Descendants Trust: Explore the option of creating an ongoing descendants trust, a trust type that grants you control over how your assets are distributed to your descendants over time. This trust structure safeguards your child’s inheritance within the family, protecting it from divorce or external claims.
  3. Consult an Estate Planning Attorney: Seek the guidance of an experienced estate planning attorney. They aid in selecting the appropriate trust type, ensuring its legal validity, and managing complex legal requirements.
  4. Select a Trustee: Choose a trustee, the individual or entity responsible for managing the trust fund and distributing its assets to beneficiaries. Choose a trustee with trustworthiness, responsibility, and expertise for effective trust fund management.
  5. Regularly Review and Update the Trust: Similar to your will, perform regular reviews and updates of the trust fund. This practice ensures the trust aligns with your current wishes, safeguarding your child’s inheritance from potential threats, like their spouse.

Consider a spendthrift trust

A spendthrift trust is a type of trust that can help protect your child’s inheritance from creditors, including a divorcing spouse. Here are some things to consider when creating a spendthrift trust:

  1. Consult an estate planning attorney: Consult an experienced estate planning attorney to assess if a spendthrift trust suits your family’s needs. They evaluate the appropriateness of a spendthrift trust for your situation and ensure its legal validity and enforceability.
  2. Select a trustee: Like any other trust, a spendthrift trust necessitates the appointment of a trustworthy and responsible trustee. The trustee manages trust assets and distributes them to the beneficiary according to trust terms.
  3. Understand the limitations: While a spendthrift trust can safeguard your child’s inheritance from creditors, it has certain limitations. Assets distributed to beneficiaries can be vulnerable to creditor claims like debt settlement or divorce. Furthermore, a spendthrift trust cannot prevent the beneficiary from voluntarily giving away funds to others after they have received them.
  4. Regularly review and update: Regularly update your spendthrift trust to match your current wishes and circumstances, just as you would with any estate plan. This proactive approach helps maintain the protection of your child’s inheritance from potential threats, including spouses and creditors.

Communicate with your adult children

When communicating with your adult children about protecting their inheritance, these considerations are vital:

  1. Share details: Discussing your estate plan helps them understand your wishes and prepares them for future responsibilities, reducing misunderstandings.
  2. Know your audience: Consider their personalities and financial situations to tailor the conversation effectively, as responses may vary.
  3. Be clear and transparent: Clearly express your intentions to prevent future disputes and ensure everyone is on the same page.
  4. Share values: Before diving into specifics, convey your values to help them comprehend your decisions and maintain your wishes.
  5. Regularly update: Regularly update your estate plan to adapt to changing circumstances, preparing your adult children for their roles effectively.

Review your beneficiaries

When reviewing beneficiaries, consider these key points to ensure your assets align with your wishes:

  1. Specify recipients: Designate specific beneficiaries for accounts, retirement plans, life insurance, and assets to ensure they reach the intended individuals.
  2. Avoid blanks: Complete all beneficiary sections to prevent confusion and delays in asset distribution.
  3. Regular updates: Periodically review beneficiaries to reflect current circumstances, minimizing family disputes and ensuring your wishes are upheld.
  4. Tax implications: Be aware of tax consequences for certain assets like retirement accounts and life insurance. Consult a tax professional if needed.
  5. Legal guidance: Engage an estate planning attorney for guidance on naming beneficiaries, ensuring legal validity and enforceability of your designations.


In conclusion, to prevent your son-in-law from accessing your inheritance, you should engage in careful estate planning and maintain open communication. Options include Bloodline Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, updating your will with disinheritance language, and consulting an estate planning attorney. Regularly review and update your estate plan and beneficiary designations to preserve your wishes effectively. Ultimately, a well-considered strategy, clear communication with your adult children, and the assistance of legal professionals can help you protect your assets and secure your legacy for future generations while shielding it from potential threats, such as divorcing spouses.

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