SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Important things that most estate planning attorneys do not tell you.  Most parents believe the inheritance they leave to their children will be protected from a child’s divorce.  But in reality, this is often not the case. Children can easily lose their inheritance in a divorce.

The reason why this happens can be tricky to understand.  As a general rule, the law in both Utah and Idaho says an inheritance is considered separate property.  But as with anything in the law, there is the practical side of what children do with their inheritance.

Oftentimes, the inheritance ends up with a son-in-law or daughter-in-law through no fault of your child.  Why you may ask, because the trust or will of the parent will read something like this: “At age 25, my child shall receive 1/3 of his or her share of the assets of the trust/will, at age 30, my child shall receive ½ of his or her share of the assets of the trust/will, and at age 35, my child shall receive my child’s remaining share of the trust/will.”  Or, the trust/will will read something like this: “Upon the last to die of the two of us, each child shall receive his or her share, outright, free of trust.”

Most clients tell me that this is not something that they want to have happen.  So, why does it happen?  Why can a child’s share end up with that child’s surviving spouse or ex-spouse and not the grandchildren? It was never the intent of the client to unintentionally disinherit the grandchildren, and based on what the trust/will says, the client did not understand that this was a possibility.

If you have any questions about how to protect your child’s inheritance from your in-laws and what to do instead to ensure your hard-earned assets stay in your family, feel free to contact us for a complimentary review and consultation.  Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Kent Brown at Strong & Hanni by either phone at (801) 532-7080 or email at: or go to for additional information, or my personal Strong & Hanni webpage at: