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I used to be an editor. Let me pare the story down a little.

Your sister can't handle money. She's about to marry a chiropractor who is or isn't cheating on his taxes. She is or isn't working off the books for him, but in any case doesn't have a "real" job. They plan to quickly make babies.

Danger, Will Robinson, danger!

You want to give your sister $20,000 that neither she nor Dr. Wonderful can get at except for a down payment on a house, in which case you don't want him to be able to get his hands on "her" equity in a divorce.

The setting is California.

IMO the best thing for you to do is plop the $20,000 in an account in your name, payable on death to her, and get on with things. IIRC, inheritances are not community property, and it sounds to me like she's going to need some help down the road.

There are lots of home financing methods available that would eliminate the need for your $20,000.

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