Search Site

Is Your Inheritance Considered Separate Property?

For many people, inheriting property from parents, grandparents or other loved ones is an emotional prospect. If you decide to divorce, the idea of selling or sharing that property with your ex-spouse is upsetting. Luckily, most inheritance is considered separate property.

When is an inheritance considered martial property?

In most cases, any inheritance you receive—even during the marriage—remains separate property. However, there are certain actions you can take which transmute the property into marital property.

First, you can “commingle” the inheritance with marital assets. For instance, if you inherit money and put it into a joint account, that will likely transmute it into marital property. Your lawyer can make the argument that you never intended for it to become marital property, but it may not be effective.

Similarly, if you inherit a house, move your spouse in and put their name on the deed, it’s probably considered a marital asset at that point. Even if you don’t move them in and put their name on the deed, they may still be entitled to a share. For example, if your spouse contributed to home improvements that increased the house’s value, they may be entitled to a share of that increased value.

In other words, if you don’t want an asset to be considered marital property, make sure that you keep it separate throughout your marriage.

Other considerations

Assets inherited after divorce are typically not subject to marital division, except in very rare circumstances. However, it may be a compelling legal reason to increase child or spousal support.

Finally, prenups can designate how the couple wishes inheritances to be divided in case of divorce. If you’ve entered into a legally binding and enforceable prenuptial agreement regarding inheritances, that should make property division easier.

Call the experienced divorce attorneys at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. in St. Paul, MN for a consultation today.

Our Attorneys
Client testimonials
  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties.Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.


Contact us

Quick Contact Form