Attorney Thomas B. Burton answers the following question in his popular real estate Q&A series: "Is There a Form I Can Fill Out Saying I Don't Want Husband's Money?"
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Hello, I'm Attorney Thomas Burton and welcome back to our popular YouTube Question and Answer Series.
Today's question is the following:
"Is there a form that a lot would allow me to deny any money willed to my children by their grandparents? Is there a form like a prenup but a postnup per se that I could fill out stating I don't want any of my husband's money if he should pass and it should go to our kids?"
Great question and you're on the right track there, discussing prenup and postnup and for the viewers watching, a prenuptial agreement would be a marital agreement, you signed before marriage and a post-nuptial agreement is one you would sign after marriage and your right, you could likely use a marital agreement. In Wisconsin, we allow married couples to enter into comprehensive marital agreements regarding a variety of topics, not just related to divorce but also estate planning. If your husband stands to inherit money from his parents and you would like that money to go to your children instead of you, it's likely that working with a lawyer, you could put together a post-nuptial agreement or what we call a marital agreement, that would agree that any assets he would receive from his parents, would stay separate and then pass to your children, to the children instead of to you and the way I would do this is pair a post-nuptial agreement, a marital agreement with a good estate plan. So inside your estate plan, let's say a revocable living trust for example, because that's going to be the most flexible document in your case. The trust could say here are the assets, me and my husband share as marital assets and perhaps I don't know what you have worked out but let's say your husband passed, you would keep the family home that you're currently living in but then there's these other assets that you want to go straight to the children upon your husband's death. So that would be one way to work it out through the trust and then you could pair it with a marital agreement that makes clear that that's your intent.
So if it's assets you already have you could dictate how they get to your children through the will or trust you and your husband set up but if it's not assets you have yet and it means it's up here at the grandparents, your husband's parents level, I would recommend that they do it through their estate plan where they don't have it flow through you at all but let's assume, they have the son named and then you're thinking, well what happens if he gets the assets and I don't want them to go to me, I want them to go to the children then I would work that out to you and your husband's trust and likely, pair it with a marital agreement that agrees that inherited assets from husbands parents, stay separate and pass through to the children and the great thing in Wisconsin is, we can use these marital agreements even to do what we call non-probate transfers at death. They're very powerful, many states, not many states allow this but it's available to married couples in Wisconsin and so I would recommend, you sit down with a qualified estate planning attorney, discuss your desires about this, it sounds like a potential inheritance from the grandparents and it says here willed by the grandparent. So I don't know if the grandparents have passed or may pass in the future but that's a way you could pre-plan on your side, the marital agreement signed, the trust set up and then you could tell people, if it's the grandparents or your children, you could it's up to you, it's your documents but you could tell them it's all set up this way, so that you are not going to receive the assets. It will go right through to your kids but again, I would want to know more about the details here on the amounts involved, if we have any estate tax issues, things like that but it can all be done through proper planning. I salute you for thinking of this ahead of time and asking the question, so that others can see and benefit from this information as well.
Thank you for asking the question, thank you for watching and we'll see you next time!
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