Bryan Hinshaw, A Professional Corporation

An Integrated Practice Serving The San Francisco Bay Area

Call to Schedule Your Initial Interview
New Clients: 415-906-3085
Existing Matters: 415-296-0800
View Our Practice Areas

Divorce mediation: Can my ex take my inheritance?

Inheritances are usually much more than just a chunk of change or some old furniture passed on after a person's death. To heirs, inheritances often have significant emotional and financial value and, for some, may be one of the few links a child has to a deceased parent. However, as San Francisco couples approach divorce mediation, some may begin to worry about how their inheritance will be handled.

For those who received an inheritance prior to saying "I do," they will usually not have to include it in asset division during divorce proceedings. Still, individuals should still take precautionary actions to protect their inheritance. Including it in a prenuptial agreement is a smart choice for many, and keeping it separate from community property -- including joint bank accounts -- can help preserve an inheritance's status as separate property.

However, some people are under the wrong impression that inheritances received during the course of a marriage are automatically considered community property that must be divided in the event of a divorce. On the contrary, heirs can take precautionary measures to ensure that their inheritance remains their personal property. This mainly involves keeping it wholly separate from any joint bank accounts, using it to purchase significant joint investments -- such as a marital home -- or any other marital asset.

Divorce is an understandably overwhelming period for most people. This can be further complicated when a valuable family inheritance is involved. San Francisco couples approaching divorce with this or other significant assets should be certain that they understand which assets will remain separate, and the implications of asset division on their community property. Doing so can ensure divorce mediation and other proceedings go as smoothly as possible.

Source: FindLaw, "Inheritance and Divorce," accessed on Dec. 31, 2017

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information