Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question, conduct and prepare your response.
She is wrong under PA law these are separate funds.All you need do is keep them in a separate account in your name and social and do not mingle them into joint account or add her name to them.As long as you do this you can trace where they came from and that they have remained separate the entire time.The judge here in a PA divorce would agree and award these to you.Thats clear and she is just wrong.
n Pennsylvania, separate property is property that is owned by one spouse only. This is property that was acquired or purchased before the marriage, or after the marriage if acquired by gift, bequest, or devise. Also, property that was purchased with money earned before the marriage is separate property.
Pennsylvania Marital Property Laws - FindLaw
Clearly these are your funds and she has no claim to them in a divorce.
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If I put my 14 yr old as beneficiary - is there anything I can do to ensure the funds are protected from my wife to access?
Yes by naming a person as guardian in your will of the child's estate.Then that person can be named guardian and control the funds for the child here.Thats the best you can do in such a situation.
how do I get this will to name a guardian (my sister)? I don't have a will yet so is this just added in the terms of the will? Would it help to instead have my daughters funds in a trust?
You could put them into a trust.You set up living trust and then name trust as the beneficiary and they are paid into it.All your assets pass to the trust and the trustee has control for the benefit of the child.
Free trust forms here
You can do your own here.