If my daughter has ovarian cancer and is divorced, if she remarries how do I exclude her new husband from my Will?

Asked on October 15, 2011 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You both can and can't do this.

1) You can easily exclude him in the sense of not naming him in your will; that is, you don't have to give him anything.

2) However, you don't have any control over what your daughter does with her money. So, for example, if you leave money or property to her, since she is married to him, he will obviously get at least some benefit from it, and nothing stops her from spending it all on him or giving it all to him to do with what he wants. Similarly, if she inherits from you, then she passes away, the money, etc. will then presumably pass to him.

3) You may wish to consider a trust as the way to exert some control. You can set up a trust which either pays certain limited expenses for your daughter (e.g. medical costs) and/or doles out the money to her on a controlled basis (some percentage every year) and which is set up so that upon her death, the remaining assets in the trust will be distributed to people other than the new husband. Only by controlling how the money gets to your daughter can you effectively keep it away from him, since once it's actually in her hands, it is her choice what to do with it.

You should consult with a trusts and estates attorney to explore whether a trust would serve your wishes. Good luck.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.