When Texas residents come from a wealthy family, they may be wondering how they can protect their assets when they get married. If the proper steps are not taken, theycould potentially be required to divide up some of the assets if a marriage does not last.
To prevent a potential former spouse from having any claim to preexisting trust assets , the terms of the trust must be extremely clear. If the terms are open or vague, it could be potentially argued that a former spouse has claim to at least some of the trust money. However, if the terms are clear and do not violate any laws or public policy, it is likely that they will be honored in court.
Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the grantors to ensure that their intentions are clear. If they do not intend for the beneficiary's former spouse to have access to the trust, they will need to ensure this is stated in the terms. However, there may be cases where the beneficiaries do want a former spouse to have access, such as if the beneficiary dies or if there are other extenuating circumstances. Again, the terms should clearly include those exceptions.
During a divorce, dividing marital property can be a long and difficult process, especially if it is a high asset divorce. A family law attorney may assist with drafting a property settlement if the former spouses cannot agree on their own. The attorney may assist with determining what marital property the former couple has and the value of each asset before drafting the agreement.