Trusts and Divorce: Discovering Hidden Trusts, Reaching Trust Assets, Protecting Beneficiary's Interest

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
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Conducted on Thursday, July 16, 2020

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will prepare family law practitioners with best practices to represent divorcing parties who have an interest in or seek to claim an interest in a spouse's trust. The panel will review drafting methods to mitigate attacks on trust assets, explain how to attack a trust, discuss available remedies, and outline critical evidentiary issues in establishing a party's interest in the trust as a marital asset.


Trusts present unique challenges when classifying and dividing marital assets in a divorce. Counsel must discover the existence of a spouse's interest, the type of interest, and the value of that interest in the trust.

Counsel must decide whether to join the trust or trustee as a party to the divorce proceeding. Counsel must also determine when to attack a trust, how to defend a trust, and what remedies are available. From the family law perspective, counsel must address and present critical evidentiary issues.

Listen as our panel of family law and estate law attorneys discusses drafting methods to mitigate attacks on trust assets, discovering the trust and classifying the beneficiary's interest in the trust as marital property, and reaching or protecting the beneficiary's assets. The panel will identify available remedies and outline crucial evidentiary issues.



  1. Types of trusts
  2. Drafting trusts to reduce attacks on trust assets
  3. Discovering trust assets
  4. Classifying the trust interest as marital property
  5. Ways to reach trust assets or protect the beneficiary's assets
  6. Joining the trust or trustee as a party
  7. Key evidentiary issues
  8. Remedies


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are best practices for drafting trusts to protect trust assets in the event of divorce?
  • What can counsel do to discover the type of interest a party has in a trust?
  • What are the methods available to reach a party's interest in the trust and to defend against an attempted attack on the trust?
  • What are the critical evidentiary issues in successfully attacking a trust or defending the trust from attack?


Vandrew, Jeff
Jeff Vandrew, Jr., CPA, CFP


Mr. Vandrew's practice focuses on asset protection planning, wills, trusts, and estate planning. His background as...  |  Read More

Jillian Wood
Jillian A. Wood

Managing Partner
Stange Law Firm

Ms. Wood has extensive experience in family law matters, including, divorce, child custody, child support,...  |  Read More

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