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How to Protect Inheritance from Divorce

how to protect inheritance from divorceDivorce is a challenging phase of life. It leaves people feeling drained and vulnerable. Financial issues are one of the most draining aspects of divorce.

One common question divorcing couples have is how the division of assets in divorce affects inheritance. Is the money you’ve inherited for a loved one at risk? Inheritances can be a challenging issue for many divorcing couples. Here’s what you need to know.

Separate Your Inheritance from Marital Property

One of the best ways to protect your inheritance during divorce proceedings is to keep it separate from marital property.

Inheritance is usually non-marital property. This means it does not automatically become part of the marital estate. However, you can unintentionally convert your inheritance into marital property if you combine it with marital assets.

Because of this, you should keep the inheritance separate. Consider depositing the funds in a separate account that your partner cannot access.

Use a Prenuptial Agreement

The best way to protect inheritance in a divorce is to think ahead. Protecting inheritance money in a prenuptial agreement is one of the best ways to avoid problems.

Of course, this requires advanced planning. Some people are reluctant to create a prenup because it requires acknowledging that your marriage could end before it even starts.

Instead of thinking a prenuptial agreement means doom for your marriage, just in case, consider it an insurance policy for your assets. The agreement should:

  • Mention that you held your inheritance before the marriage
  • Define the asset as “non-marital
  • Indicate that it will remain yours, regardless of what happens after the union

Set Up a Trust

Another way of securing your inheritance during legal proceedings is to set up a trust.

A trust agreement outlines the terms of the administration of your inheritance. This includes who can access it and under which conditions.

Once you put your inheritance into a trust, it becomes a separate legal entity. It shelters it from the scrutiny of the court during the divorce proceedings.

Document Your Inheritance

You must document your inheritance. Create a record of where it came from and when.

Make sure to keep all copies of receipts, bank account statements, and details of the inheritance. This can go a long way to protect your inheritance in case of a contest in court.

Hire an Experienced Divorce Attorney

An attorney is a valuable asset in a divorce whether or not an inheritance is an issue. An experienced divorce attorney helps you navigate the laws in your state. They create a defense against any claim your spouse believes they have on your assets. They’ll also help you avoid making mistakes that may jeopardize your inheritance.

If you’d like to discuss protecting your inheritance should your marriage end or you’re getting divorced and you have questions, we can help. Contact Florida divorce lawyers at the Geller Law Firm at (813) 405-1509 to schedule a consultation today.

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