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Take steps to protect your inheritance from property division

When you have an inheritance, you can't afford to just sit around and do nothing to make sure that it is protected. This is especially true if you are married and are considering a divorce.

Inheritances are subject to being split up with other assets when you go through a divorce, unless you take proper steps to protect them. Understanding this before divorce is an issue might help you down the road.

First, you should always keep inherited assets, including money, separate from marital assets. This means opening a new bank account for the inheritance or making sure that you don't use marital funds to keep the asset up. You have to take the time to plan carefully so that there isn't any comingling of the inheritance and the martial property. This is especially important if there isn't a prenuptial agreement that addresses the inheritance.

Second, how the inheritance was worded can have an impact on it. If the person who bequeathed you the assets named you and your spouse on the inheritance, then the assets are marital assets. This isn't necessarily the case if you were the only person named on the inheritance as long as you follow the no comingling rule.

Third, if you have already comingled the inheritance and marital property, all hope is not lost. It is sometimes possible to show that the inheritance wasn't intended to be shared or split. This is something that can be difficult to do but learning if it is an option might help you to keep the inheritance that your loved one intended for you to have.

Source: FindLaw, "Inheritance and Divorce," accessed July 07, 2017

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