W. Tyler Moore, PC

Can a divorced father pass on assets to his children?

The dissolution of a marriage does not mean that a father loses his right to pass on an inheritance to his children. Divorced fathers retain the right to prepare for the future of their children through the normal methods of inheritance, such as through wills, trusts and other methods. It is important for any divorced father in Texas to make sure he uses whatever means available to pass on benefits and assets.

Fathers may possess pensions, retirement accounts, stocks, any kind of financial portfolio or account that can pay out cash benefits to a person the father designates as a beneficiary. According to the American Bar Association, divorced fathers can name their own children as beneficiaries. Should the father pass away, his children will receive the money from these assets. Additionally, a father can proactively set up a bank account that pays out its assets to his children after his death.

These beneficiary designations should be listed in writing. If the father does not have paperwork confirming that these assets will pay out to his children, his children may face delays in receiving the assets or they may never receive the assets at all. Also, the paperwork, once received, should be stored in a secure spot. Some divorced fathers do not have a cordial relationship with an ex-spouse, so it is important to keep the paperwork away from the other spouse so they are not stolen or destroyed.

A father can also set up a trust for his children, with assets to pay out when the children reach a certain age and a trustee to oversee the payouts. Divorced fathers generally will not select their former spouse to oversee the trust and will opt to appoint a trusted friend or relative instead. Also, if the father dies while his children are still minors, he can also appoint a guardian for his children if the other spouse has also died or is unwilling or unable to care for the children.

Be aware that while this article is written for the educational benefit of the reader, it does not offer legal advice.

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