How to protect inherited assets from your spouse in case of divorce

Nancy: My daughter recently married a man who is going to be the recipient of what he called a blood trust which goes from family member to family member and she wants to know--I want to know too, how I can protect the assets that my daughter inherits from us.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Nancy let me answer this for you. Florida law is very clear that what you inherit from your mom and dad is yours to keep if you get divorced as long as you keep that asset in your name only. So let's say you and your husband pass away and your daughter inherits your property and some cash from you.  As long as she keeps that property and cash in her name only, if she gets divorced at a later date she's going to leave with that property and cash.

Nancy: What about the fact that if she should die, will her children be able to get that money directly instead of her husband?

Attorney Tom Olsen: For the most part, the answer is yes but keep in mind that here in a state of Florida, by the very fact being married, your spouse is entitled to at least 30% of your estate.

Nancy: Even inherited money?

Attorney Tom Olsen: Even inherited money. So your daughter may have a will that says, “Hey, when I die, take this property, this cash and give it to my kids.” And yet depending on how the math works out, the husband may be able to step in and take a small portion of it. Nancy I would not let that be overly concerning to you, okay, don't worry about that part.

But Nancy, what you need to have a quiet conversation with your daughter and say, “Look, someday your dad and I are going to pass away. I talked to Attorney Tom Olsen, you're going to inherit some wealth from us, Attorney Tom Olsen recommends that you keep those assets, the bank accounts, the real estate titles in your name only. Do not own them jointly with your husband that way you'll be protected someday if you guys happen to get divorced.” Nancy that's a great question, glad I was able to answer it for you.