Is something like that even possible?
When we pass away, we tend to leave money behind for the kids and spouses. However, there are some cases where people do not want to leave money behind for their spouses. They want their money to go to their kids entirely. They just cannot accept leaving behind money for their spouses.
The reasons for such cases are many. It is not surprising, however, as it’s a lot more common in Malaysia than we think it to be. Usually, when a spouse has passed away their surviving spouse will get a cut of the money left behind. However, can you not allow your spouse to have any of that money?
The quick answer is yes. You can leave all your money to your kids in its entirety. You don’t have to include their spouses if you wish to also. However, it’s leaving it all to your kids and not letting their spouse get it is what matters. Here are some ways you can make sure your kids get the money and not their spouses.
1. Have a trust ready and in place
Perhaps the easiest way to shield your assets and have your kids enjoy them is to have a trust in place. In your trust, mention that you will want all your assets (including your money) to go to your kids and only your kids.
You can mention in your trust how your assets are to be divided. Direct your appointed trustee how much the income and principal should be distributed to your kids. However, note that you cannot entirely exclude your spouse entirely from the trust as it can be contested. The reasons can vary.
One way to minimize your spouse’s access to your child’s money is to have the trustee pay the expenses on your kids’ behalf. Meaning to say, instead of having your spouse having direct access or having a direct hand in your kids’ money, your appointed trustee will handle everything on your kids’ behalf instead. That way your spouse will have no way of having a hand in your kids’ assets.
2. Getting your kids to do a financial test
Here’s something you can consider. Before giving your kids the money after you have gone, consider giving them a financial literacy test. It may come across as tacky and weird. However, you may be surprised by the results you get in the end.
The reason why we brought this up is that parents often give their kids without seeing how they use it. Who knows if your kids are not the smartest type and could be manipulated by their spouse? You wouldn’t want that to happen, do you?
3. Give something that is not cash
Instead of giving cash to your kids, which could be directly used by their spouses, why not give something else instead? Like assets and mortgages for example. If you give cash, their spouses may use that money on something else. It’s quite likely their spouse may take that money and use it for themselves instead.
With non-cash assets, the spouses may not have a hand or say in it. Since that the entire asset goes to your child’s name and not their spouses.
4. Have your children set up their own wills and trusts
Perhaps this is the other way of preventing your children’s spouses from getting your assets meant for your kids. In all honesty, when you are gone and your assets given to your kids, your assets will most likely become marital assets when it falls into your children’s hands. If you do not want this to happen, then have your kids do their own wills and trusts for themselves and their kids (if any).
As much as it sounds crazy and chaotic, then this is perhaps the other best step to solidify your assets’ future. It does make you and your child sound irrational. However, if it works then it works.
Not wanting your kids’ spouses to have a hand in your assets may come across as crazy. However, if you really do not trust your children-in-laws, then perhaps some of these things listed above can help prevent them from getting your assets.