Massachusetts attorneys, Bernard J. Hamill, Quincy

Massachusetts Estate Inheritance Planning and Probate Lawyers

Can I keep my ex-spouse from inheriting my estate and yet still take care of my kids when I die?

Yes. This is why a will and particularly a trust are so important. Your ex-spouse may very well be appointed guardian of your minor children. If you have no will, your kids will inherit your estate when you die. But if they are under age 18, your ex-spouse - as guardian - will have control of your money.

If you have a will, you can create a testamentary trust to hold your estate for your children until they reach majority (or even older) so that your ex-spouse never touches the money you want your children to receive. This can also be accomplished with the use of a living trust.

Likewise, providing for a second spouse and still protecting assets for your children can easily be accomplished through either a testamentary or living trust. You can provide as much or as little for your spouse as you wish for his or her lifetime (subject to his or her statutory rights to take a certain share of your estate). Because the assets are in trust, he or she can benefit from them but not control them. You, not your spouse, control the final disposition of the assets. Your trust can provide that when your spouse dies, the balance will pass to your children or issue or it could be held in further trust for them. Your children or issue could even be beneficiaries of the trust while your spouse is living, if you wish. However, if tax planning is a concern, there are certain restrictions that must be taken into account.

The above statements pertain to Massachusetts Law and are meant to describe in a very general way techniques available for you to plan your estate in a manner that saves you money and reduces estate taxes. For a specific complimentary consultation or to obtain a fee quote please call our office at 617-479-4300.

Massachusetts Attorney

Law Office of Bernard J. Hamill

36 Miller Stile Rd., Quincy, MA 02169
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