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  1. #1

    Default Prenup when Fiance Has Assets in Trust

    My question involves marriage law for the State of: Ohio

    I think my questions are, essentially ...

    What happens to marital assets when one of the parties has his or her pre-marital assets in a trust? Do none of the marital assets go into the trust? Do half of the marital assets go into the trust? Do all of the marital assets go into the trust? If one spouse has his or her assets in a trust, what's the best arrangement for the other spouse (his or her own trust, a prenup, etc.)? Is there an entirely different direction that is better?

    Here's the background ...

    Apologies that I don't have all the facts or details about my fiance's legal situation, but this is what I know:

    * She says she created "an estate plan" and "a trust" to see that her retirement and all other assets are directed to her kids
    * She says she set this up because she was worried her ex husband was "going to kill her"
    * Her concerns weren't unfounded; he shot up their basement before leaving the state and being found a few months later in southern Texas dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted overdose
    * I believe her "plan" and "trust" were created after her divorce
    * Her retirement is in an IRA and she has a public employee pension

    We've been dating two years. We're open with each other regarding finances. We're both stable with respect to income, debt, etc., and while I make a bit more and have a bit more, our situations are roughly equal. In other words, neither of us would bring substantially more to the relationship (she does have student loans of about $60k and a car loan of about $28k).

    Although I've had some passing thoughts about taking (undefined) steps to see that my kids would be entitled to certain assets (mostly, a second family home, my 401k and life insurance payouts) and my future spouse's kids would likewise be protected, she and I really haven't discussed it.

    Last night, however, we got on the topic because we were discussing how her friends have been nagging her about getting married.

    She mentioned her "estate plan" again, this time adding the "trust" detail. She repeated the story she's told me before about why she set it up, etc., but this time in the context that it would survive into any new marriage and continue to protect her kids' inheritance. I never really considered that before -- I always thought of it in the context of a solution (now moot) of what she would do if her now-dead ex killed her.

    I said something along the lines of, "It sounds like you already have something to protect your kids after you marry again. When we do combine households, maybe I should do something to protect my retirement for my kids, like a prenup or what you have in place."

    She didn't like that at all. She said things like, "that's fine. I don't need your money. You can swim in your money for all I care. But I would think you would trust me to take care of your kids" and "I'm everything my kids have and I need to make sure they are OK" while overlooking that my kids and I are in the same boat.

    On the relationship front, while I see that as a bit of a red flag (it's OK to protect her pre-marital assets and our future marital assets for her kids if she dies first, but not OK to protect my pre-marital assets and a share of our future marital assets for my kids if I die first), I'm willing to consider her reaction from another perspective or write it off as an emotional response on her part.

    Of course, I can imagine a number of scenarios where a legal arrangement to protect both our kids makes sense.

    Any suggestions on what, legally, may make the most sense in our situations would be welcomed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,974

    Default Re: Prenup when Fiance Has Assets in Trust

    The only valid suggestion that you can get about this from anonymous strangers on the internet is that you and your fiance(e) (?) should consult with a local estate planning attorney. If you want a prenup, then you should consult with a family law attorney on your own.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,932

    Default Re: Prenup when Fiance Has Assets in Trust

    Quote Quoting acrimoniousshrimp
    View Post
    My question involves marriage law for the State of: Ohio

    I think my questions are, essentially ...

    What happens to marital assets when one of the parties has his or her pre-marital assets in a trust? Do none of the marital assets go into the trust? Do half of the marital assets go into the trust? Do all of the marital assets go into the trust? If one spouse has his or her assets in a trust, what's the best arrangement for the other spouse (his or her own trust, a prenup, etc.)? Is there an entirely different direction that is better?

    Here's the background ...

    Apologies that I don't have all the facts or details about my fiance's legal situation, but this is what I know:

    * She says she created "an estate plan" and "a trust" to see that her retirement and all other assets are directed to her kids
    * She says she set this up because she was worried her ex husband was "going to kill her"
    * Her concerns weren't unfounded; he shot up their basement before leaving the state and being found a few months later in southern Texas dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted overdose
    * I believe her "plan" and "trust" were created after her divorce
    * Her retirement is in an IRA and she has a public employee pension

    We've been dating two years. We're open with each other regarding finances. We're both stable with respect to income, debt, etc., and while I make a bit more and have a bit more, our situations are roughly equal. In other words, neither of us would bring substantially more to the relationship (she does have student loans of about $60k and a car loan of about $28k).

    Although I've had some passing thoughts about taking (undefined) steps to see that my kids would be entitled to certain assets (mostly, a second family home, my 401k and life insurance payouts) and my future spouse's kids would likewise be protected, she and I really haven't discussed it.

    Last night, however, we got on the topic because we were discussing how her friends have been nagging her about getting married.

    She mentioned her "estate plan" again, this time adding the "trust" detail. She repeated the story she's told me before about why she set it up, etc., but this time in the context that it would survive into any new marriage and continue to protect her kids' inheritance. I never really considered that before -- I always thought of it in the context of a solution (now moot) of what she would do if her now-dead ex killed her.

    I said something along the lines of, "It sounds like you already have something to protect your kids after you marry again. When we do combine households, maybe I should do something to protect my retirement for my kids, like a prenup or what you have in place."

    She didn't like that at all. She said things like, "that's fine. I don't need your money. You can swim in your money for all I care. But I would think you would trust me to take care of your kids" and "I'm everything my kids have and I need to make sure they are OK" while overlooking that my kids and I are in the same boat.

    On the relationship front, while I see that as a bit of a red flag (it's OK to protect her pre-marital assets and our future marital assets for her kids if she dies first, but not OK to protect my pre-marital assets and a share of our future marital assets for my kids if I die first), I'm willing to consider her reaction from another perspective or write it off as an emotional response on her part.

    Of course, I can imagine a number of scenarios where a legal arrangement to protect both our kids makes sense.

    Any suggestions on what, legally, may make the most sense in our situations would be welcomed.
    Just a purely personal opinion. Premarital assets should be protected in some way for your respective children. Assets that accrue during the marriage should not. So, I would likely be a bit offended if a potential new spouse suggested that assets that accrued during the marriage should be squirreled away for their children. The way you wrote your post makes it appear that you were the only one talking about squirreling away marital assets, at least to me.

    If I ever married again I would get a small life insurance policy for enough to cover my final expenses and any joint debt that would be for my spouse, and keep my other insurance policy with my child as the beneficiary. I might rearrange my retirement benefits so that the premarital one had my child as beneficiary and post marital one had my spouse as beneficiary.

    These are just things to consider and discuss. Otherwise, I agree that if you decide to get married that you and your girlfriend consult estate planners.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,663

    Default Re: Prenup when Fiance Has Assets in Trust

    Quote Quoting acrimoniousshrimp
    View Post
    My question involves marriage law for the State of: Ohio

    I think my questions are, essentially ...

    What happens to marital assets when one of the parties has his or her pre-marital assets in a trust? Do none of the marital assets go into the trust? Do half of the marital assets go into the trust? Do all of the marital assets go into the trust? If one spouse has his or her assets in a trust, what's the best arrangement for the other spouse (his or her own trust, a prenup, etc.)? Is there an entirely different direction that is better?

    Here's the background ...

    Apologies that I don't have all the facts or details about my fiance's legal situation, but this is what I know:

    * She says she created "an estate plan" and "a trust" to see that her retirement and all other assets are directed to her kids
    * She says she set this up because she was worried her ex husband was "going to kill her"
    * Her concerns weren't unfounded; he shot up their basement before leaving the state and being found a few months later in southern Texas dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted overdose
    * I believe her "plan" and "trust" were created after her divorce
    * Her retirement is in an IRA and she has a public employee pension

    We've been dating two years. We're open with each other regarding finances. We're both stable with respect to income, debt, etc., and while I make a bit more and have a bit more, our situations are roughly equal. In other words, neither of us would bring substantially more to the relationship (she does have student loans of about $60k and a car loan of about $28k).

    Although I've had some passing thoughts about taking (undefined) steps to see that my kids would be entitled to certain assets (mostly, a second family home, my 401k and life insurance payouts) and my future spouse's kids would likewise be protected, she and I really haven't discussed it.

    Last night, however, we got on the topic because we were discussing how her friends have been nagging her about getting married.

    She mentioned her "estate plan" again, this time adding the "trust" detail. She repeated the story she's told me before about why she set it up, etc., but this time in the context that it would survive into any new marriage and continue to protect her kids' inheritance. I never really considered that before -- I always thought of it in the context of a solution (now moot) of what she would do if her now-dead ex killed her.

    I said something along the lines of, "It sounds like you already have something to protect your kids after you marry again. When we do combine households, maybe I should do something to protect my retirement for my kids, like a prenup or what you have in place."

    She didn't like that at all. She said things like, "that's fine. I don't need your money. You can swim in your money for all I care. But I would think you would trust me to take care of your kids" and "I'm everything my kids have and I need to make sure they are OK" while overlooking that my kids and I are in the same boat.

    On the relationship front, while I see that as a bit of a red flag (it's OK to protect her pre-marital assets and our future marital assets for her kids if she dies first, but not OK to protect my pre-marital assets and a share of our future marital assets for my kids if I die first), I'm willing to consider her reaction from another perspective or write it off as an emotional response on her part.

    Of course, I can imagine a number of scenarios where a legal arrangement to protect both our kids makes sense.

    Any suggestions on what, legally, may make the most sense in our situations would be welcomed.
    You write a will specifying who get what from your estate. It's that simple. You can make your kids beneficiaries to your retirement and bank accounts. And let your future wife swim in her own paranoia.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Prenup when Fiance Has Assets in Trust

    Quote Quoting llworking
    View Post
    The way you wrote your post makes it appear that you were the only one talking about squirreling away marital assets, at least to me.
    I didn't mean it like that, but I can see how that impression could be drawn, and maybe that is the impression I gave her. I'm sure we can sort out any hurt feelings easy enough.

    My intention is definitely how you described. I'm a firm believe that a marriage should be 50/50, which I understand is the law anyway, in this if not all states, unless agreed otherwise.

    Where I was taken aback is that I thought what she was describing (the "estate" and "trust") was something that would protect *her* (and possibly *our*) post-marital assets for *her* kids.

    Thanks for the input. It's helpful.

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