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Can an inheritance play a role in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2023 | Divorce

The process of preparing to divide wealth and assets can be one of the most daunting aspects of dissolving a marriage. If you and your spouse choose to part ways, you might be uncertain of what to expect from the property division process and of how to develop a strategy that focuses on preserving your interests and goals. 

One topic that may be difficult to grasp at times might involve knowing how to differentiate between marital and separate property. While assets such as inheritances may typically be separate property, there are some situations in which this might not be the case, and you might wonder about whether your inheritance will play a role during legal proceedings. 

Inheritances and divorce 

Addressing the topic of inheritances can be one of the most complex aspects of dissolving a marriage, and there may be numerous factors to consider concerning similar assets, such as: 

  • Inheritances and separate property: Inheritances received prior to or during a marriage may typically be separate property, and any asset that retains its separate identity might not be subject to the property division process.  
  • Comingling of assets: There are some situations in which a portion of your inheritance may become marital wealth. Comingling inheritance funds with marital wealth or using these funds to improve property values may be two common examples. 
  • Existing agreements: Another factor that could affect the handling of inheritances during a divorce could involve the presence of existing agreements, such as prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. 
  • Addressing intent: The topic of intent may also be a relevant factor regarding inheritances during divorce. Maintaining thorough documentation of your inheritance and uses of funds may be vital to preserving your interests. 

If even a portion of your inheritance is deemed marital wealth, seeking advice in carefully addressing your options could play a vital role in helping you prepare for the subsequent process. 

Seeking guidance 

Assets such as inheritances can be some of the most complex factors to address when facing the end of a marriage. With so much on the line, you might consider seeking guidance in evaluating your situation and in determining whether your inheritance might play a role during subsequent legal proceedings. This could help you better understand what is at stake and help you prepare to create a strategy for divorce proceedings that best meets your needs and goals for your future in Minnesota.