What happens to my estate if my children get divorced?

  • Kathryn Heuer

What happens to my estate if my children get divorced

Your Will allows you to give assets that you personally own to those persons that you nominate.  Often these people include your children. But what happens if your children get divorced?

Once those gifts are received they become the property of the person to whom they were left.  This can lead to unintended consequences when the recipient of those gifts then finds themselves in a situation where their relationship, be it marriage or de facto, breaks down.  In the family law system when a relationship breaks down the first task of the court dealing with the financial settlement between the separated spouses is to determine what is the property of the parties and how it is to be divided.

If one of your children has received assets from you after your death, those assets will be part of the pool of property that is available for division with their spouse.  At FGD we assist clients who wish to put in place some protective measures to prevent such a thing from happening.  The device we adopt in drafting our Wills is called a Testamentary Trust.  The drafting of a Testamentary Trust needs to be done with care to ensure that the mechanisms which govern the Trust are properly allocated and that in essence the right person or persons are controlling how the assets are dealt with.

For more information in relation to how you might adopt such a mechanism or to understand whether your current Will provides adequate protection, contact FGD and we are able to assist you.

Kathryn Heuer is a Family Lawyer and Director at Farrar Gesini Dunn,Canberra Office

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By |2017-12-19T14:32:44+00:00July 24th, 2017|

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