When a couple divorces, spouses may wonder whether either party may claim a right to the other person’s inheritance acquired during a marriage. For instance, a person may wonder if they have a right to an inheritance left by a spouse’s relative who didn’t mention the other person in the will. In many cases, the disposition of the assets may determine whether the receiver will have to share them in a divorce. Read on to learn more about inheriting money during a marriage, and to learn how divorce attorneys in Angola, Indiana can help one protect their separate assets.
The Basics of Inheritance During a Marriage
In most cases, inheritances aren’t considered to be marital property, so they’re not held under equitable distribution laws. Rather, inheritances are regarded as the separate property of the receiver, and they aren’t divided after a divorce. Jurisdictional law determines how inheritances are treated once they are shared, and rules vary widely. For example, if the money is put into a joint account and used to pay marital expenses, it loses immunity. Commingling is important. If a person’s separate property is used to benefit the marriage, it’s no longer considered separate and it’s subject to division during a divorce.
Inheritances Acquired Before Marriage
In some cases, spouses go into marriage with previously acquired wealth. The laws of the state determine how pre-marital inheritances are treated when a divorce occurs. If inherited money is placed into a joint account, or if marital money is put into the inheritance account, commingling has taken place and the funds may be divided. In all other cases, the inheritance is regarded as that person’s separate property and the receiver can keep all of the money.
While it generally holds that commingling changes separate property into marital assets, some courts have held that a portion of the funds can remain separate if the party can prove that commingling was unintentional. However, the burden of proof is very high, and one contesting the division of an inheritance should visit Website to seek advice from divorce attorneys in Angola, Indiana who handle these issues.