Estate Planning to Address Divorce Concerns

Download Fiduciary Trust's Estate Planning for Divorce Article

Expert analysis from Fiduciary Trust’s Robert Holdway

Good estate planning includes taking steps to protect your family’s wealth from certain risks. A common risk is the possibility that a child or other family member might become entangled in a divorce. Our experiences and observations of those around us demonstrate that the possibility of divorce is very real. And with it comes the potential for assets that we plan to transfer to family members to be at risk.

Our article will help you understand:

  • Learnings from recent court cases that have implications for trust design
  • The relative effectiveness and limitations of various asset protection strategies for divorce
  • Trust design features to consider to enhance asset protection in the event of divorce

This article focuses on insights from Massachusetts cases and law, but the concepts are instructive for those in other jurisdictions.


Fiduciary Trust Company is a private wealth management firm serving the needs of families, charities and third party advisors. We take a personal approach based on expertise, strong performance and a genuine commitment to act in our clients’ best interests. Our unique, private ownership and disciplined investment approach align our interests with clients' and provide the stability and permanence our clients seek.

Robert G. Holdway is Vice President and Trust Counsel at Fiduciary Trust Company.  He advises clients on all aspects of estate planning, including designing trust structures that are customized to address specific dynamics within families, determining appropriate beneficiary designations for retirement accounts and insurance policies, minimizing income and transfer taxes, and planning for contingencies such as incapacity and divorce. Bob also provides financial planning advice, with a particular emphasis on retirement planning. He serves on the firm’s Trust Committee and has been a Director on Fiduciary Trust’s Board since 1998.  Bob was named a Leader in Law in 2016 by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.