I had a baby when I was 15 and this child has been my world. When everyone turned their backs, I worked hard to fend for my child and I. I vowed to give her the best and now, at 38, I can say I’ve done pretty well for myself financially.
Now 23, my daughter is about to graduate from the university and I’ve found love for the first time really, and we just got engaged. Thing is, he is a bit younger than me and earns less than I do. My daughter has expressed her concern at my choice, saying my fiancé may be a gold digger and could take over all I have worked hard for, leaving us with nothing. What do I do to assure my daughter that she won’t suffer financially if I marry him?
Winifred, Abuja – Nigeria
Thank you for your question. It’s impressive that you have been able to achieve your goals despite being abandoned by everyone when you needed them the most.
The issues concerning marriage and inheritance is quite common, and could either go well or turn out to be a complete disaster if not addressed adequately. Therefore, your daughter’s concern is valid and should not be taken idly, being that your eventual marriage to your fiancé will alter the beneficiaries to your estate and could leave her with no inheritance if you do not properly plan your matters.
Marriage without a prenuptial agreement would allow any individual strong claim to his or her spouse’s estate upon death, therefore you would require an efficient structure to safeguard your daughter’s inheritance. Setting up a trust could be a good way to start, because it affords you the powers to give specific instructions regarding distribution of the trust assets, thereby offering protection to dependents who might be at a disadvantage at the demise of a parent.
A trust is an arrangement which sees an individual transfer legal title of his or her personal assets to a trustee to cater for named beneficiaries. A trust not only ensures asset protection and flexibility, it also provides confidentiality. Trusts are less likely contestable and would therefore offer adequate protection for your daughter, regardless of your marital status.
I am indeed happy that you have found love, but strongly advise that you take adequate steps to protect your daughter’s inheritance before you tie the knot by contacting us to discuss further.