When You Shouldn’t Give A Spouse Anything

I had a client who cared very much about her spouse. One very common thing is we give our spouses all this stuff.  That’s probably the most common thing we see: I’m going to die, and I’m going to give everything to my wife. We got to talk about that a little bit more, though, in certain circumstances. So, with this client, her husband was starting to have a little bit of a decline but nothing too serious. However, when you give someone money, you need to take a broad look and ask what that person’s future look like with that money. Are we concerned about an older person being taken advantage of by other people? By other romantic interests or by my kids, their kids, or our kids? Is there anyone who might insert themselves into this person’s life in a way? We need to make sure we control that.

How To Control The Money

Instead of giving it to the spouse directly, put it in a trust for the spouse. You can do this right in a will. You can do this right in a revocable trust if you want to do it without probate. Determine that the assets go to your spouse, except your spouse’s share shall be administered under whatever the article paragraph is. Then, one thing to say is that your spouse shall get all the income, any dividends interest, etc., anything created by my money. Then you say, if they need any help with living expenses or health expenses or they want to take vacations, or they want to do, you know, you name it, it’s up to you. As long as it’s not illegal, you can pretty much do it.

Get A Trustee

And then you need a trustee; you need a trusted person. You can get a professional, or you can get a trusted friend or sibling or child. This person will be the wall between the spouse and the money and make sure things happen according to the trust document. It allows the spouse to be protected from themselves in some ways. I consider that trust to be a wonderful love letter, showing how much this woman cared about her husband and if you have any questions about any of this.