Taking Care of Your Inheritance Upon Divorce
If you receive an inheritance during your marriage, it may be your separate property. It will depend on how you held that inheritance after you received it. If it was a cash inheritance that you kept in a separate account under your name, and you did not deposit any additional marital funds into the account, it will be deemed your separate property.
If the inheritance was a piece of real estate that you kept in your name, and you made no improvement to the estate using marital funds, it will be your separate property. If you receive an inheritance in a cash equivalent account with your spouse’s name on the account, you will risk the court determining that you gifted part of that inheritance to your spouse. If you received an inheritance of cash that you used to pay off the mortgage to your home, it is possible that the court would deem that the pay-off of the mortgage was your separate property. It is also possible that a court could determine that it is marital property, subject to division upon divorce.