Can a married person create their own separate living trust without any involvement of their spouse?

One of my parents wants to make their own separate living trust without the other parent involved at all (no signatures or notarized paperwork required from the other parent). I know usually married couples both create their own separate living trusts together but I had trouble finding out if just 1 person can create their own separate trust and the spouse not have one at all. Thank you.

ANSWER BY MARGARET CROSS-BELIVEAU:

Yes, it can definitely be done.  I’ve done it for people who are afraid of future creditors because the person works in a field that has high risk. (ex: brain surgeon) If all the marital property is in the spouse’s trust and then if the surgeon is sued, then the personal property will be protected.  There are times when one spouse is a spendthrift and just can’t be trusted with the money.  I’ve seen spouses that were married late in life keep the finances separate to protect their own children.

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Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

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The estate administration and estate planning attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provide legal services for estate planning, probate, estate administration, and trust administration. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.

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