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Understand how inheritances are handled in divorce

When a loved one leaves a person something in an estate, the chances are good that he or she meant for that individual to have the assets. If the person is married or gets married and that ends in divorce, the discussion about what will happen to the inheritance might come up.

There is a chance that an inheritance could be split between both parties if there is a divorce. One of the times when this might happen is when the inheritance assets are comingled with the marital assets. In this case, the court might view the inherited assets as property that can be divided. There are ways that you can protect these assets if you plan carefully.

One of the ways that you can protect your inheritance is to include any inheritance already received and any that are expected in a prenuptial agreement. This would clearly spell out what should happen with anything that is gotten in this manner.

Another option that you have is to keep the inherited assets completely separated from all marital property. This means that it can't be supported by anything that could be construed as marital funds.

If you are already in the property division process of a divorce, you might have to negotiate to keep the inherited assets. This could be very difficult but it is imperative if there are items that you want to remain in your family. Be prepared to work hard on the compromises here because your ex might be spiteful when he or she realizes that you want to hang onto these assets.

Source: FindLaw, "Inheritance and Divorce," accessed Oct. 11, 2017

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