Married couples of high net worth often establish a family trust to handle distribution of assets to beneficiaries and charities. In the event of divorce, the trust must be characterized as separate property or marital property, subject to distribution of assets or control of the trust fund. In the event the trust is characterized as separate property of one spouse, the other spouse may receive an equitable share of the appreciated value over the course of the marriage.How Will Your Family Trust be Divided in Your Divorce?
Many wealthy individuals enter into a second marriage with a family trust already in place. A prenuptial agreement is often used to protect the original value of the trust assets. The prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement will be subject to litigation if the other spouse can show that the assets appreciated in value because of marital contributions or were commingled with marital assets.
If a family trust will be part of your marital property settlement in your pending divorce, make sure your attorney understands the laws relating to high net worth property distribution in New York. For more than a quarter of a century, the law firm of Jonathan D. Katz, Attorney at Law, has been providing experienced, intelligent representation for people of high net worth going through divorce in New York.
Contact my offices in Saugerties to discuss your concerns about the characterization of your family trust. I will take the time to discuss the laws regarding marital property and help you determine your best options for moving forward with your property settlement.
There are many complex financial issues relating to family trusts and marital property agreements, including:
- Transmutation of assets and characterization as separate or marital property
- Tax issues relating to the trust fund
- Appreciation of value over the duration of the marriage
- Litigation of prenuptial agreements affecting the characterization of the trust fund
Will your attorney have the knowledge to handle the tough financial issues to protect your family trust account? I have more than 25 years of experience representing many of New York’s most successful individuals in divorce and property settlements. Yes, your lawyer will make an important difference in the outcome of your final property settlement.