Keeping Your Inheritance In A New York Divorce

by ECL Writer
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In New York, it is possible to keep your inheritance in a divorce, but it depends on the specific circumstances of your case. Inheritances are considered separate property in New York, which means that they are not subject to division in a divorce. However, there are certain situations where inheritance can become marital property and subject to division.

One situation where inheritance may become marital property is if it is commingled with other marital assets. This means that if you use your inheritance to purchase a joint asset, such as a house or a car, it can be considered to be a marital asset and subject to division in a divorce. For example, if you use your inheritance to make a down payment on a house that you and your spouse live in, the house can be considered to be a marital asset and subject to division.

Another situation where inheritance may become marital property is if it is used to pay for marital expenses. For example, if you use your inheritance to pay for your spouse’s education or to help support the household, it can be considered to be a marital asset and subject to division.

It’s also worth noting that if your inheritance is in the form of a trust, it may not be considered a separate property. The court may consider the trust as marital property if it was created during the marriage, funds from the trust were used for marital expenses, or it was used to purchase marital assets.

To protect your inheritance in a divorce, it is important to keep good records and be able to prove that the inheritance is your separate property. This can include providing documentation such as a copy of the will or trust, bank statements showing that the inheritance was deposited into a separate account, and receipts or other documentation showing that the inheritance was not used for marital expenses.

It’s also important to consult with a lawyer familiar with New York divorce laws, who can help you understand the law and create a strategy to protect your inheritance. A lawyer can also help you negotiate a settlement agreement that protects your inheritance, or represent you in court if necessary.

In conclusion, it is possible to keep your inheritance in a New York divorce, but it depends on the specific circumstances of your case. Inheritances are considered separate property in New York, which means that they are not subject to division in a divorce. However, there are certain situations where inheritance can become marital property and subject to division such as commingling it with marital assets or using it to pay for marital expenses. To protect your inheritance, it is important to keep good records and consult with a New York lawyer familiar with New York divorce laws.

How To Keep Your Inheritance In A New York Divorce

Keeping your inheritance in a New York divorce can be a complex process, but there are steps you can take to protect your inheritance and ensure that it remains your separate property.

Keep Good Records

It is important to keep good records of your inheritance, including documentation such as a copy of the will or trust, bank statements showing that the inheritance was deposited into a separate account, and receipts or other documentation showing that the inheritance was not used for marital expenses.

Open A Separate Bank Account

Open a separate bank account in your name only and deposit the inheritance into that account. This will help to establish that the inheritance is your separate property and not a marital asset.

Avoid Commingling

Avoid using your inheritance to purchase joint assets or pay for marital expenses. Commingling your inheritance with marital assets or using it to pay for marital expenses can cause it to become a marital asset and subject to division in a divorce.

Use A Prenuptial Agreement

If you are getting married and expect to receive an inheritance in the future, consider entering into a prenuptial agreement that clearly states how your inheritance will be treated in the event of a divorce.

Seek Legal Advice

Consult with a lawyer familiar with New York divorce laws who can help you understand the law and create a strategy to protect your inheritance. A lawyer can also help you negotiate a settlement agreement that protects your inheritance or represent you in court if necessary.

Prove Separate Property

If your inheritance is challenged, be prepared to prove that it is your separate property. This can include providing documentation such as a copy of the will or trust, bank statements showing that the inheritance was deposited into a separate account, and receipts or other documentation showing that the inheritance was not used for marital expenses.

Keep Your Inheritance In A Trust

If your inheritance is in the form of a trust, it may not be considered a separate property. It’s advisable to consult with a lawyer to check if your trust is considered separate property or marital property. If it’s considered marital property, a lawyer can advise you on how to create a trust that would be considered separate property.

Avoid Using Your Inheritance As A Loan

Avoid lending your inheritance to your spouse or using it as collateral for a loan. This can make the inheritance subject to division in a divorce.

Keep Inheritance Separate During The Divorce Process

During the divorce process, it is important to keep your inheritance separate from marital assets and avoid using it to pay for legal fees or any other expenses related to the divorce.

It’s important to keep in mind that the laws regarding inheritance and divorce can vary from state to state, so it is essential to consult with a lawyer familiar with New York divorce laws to understand the specific laws in your state and how they may apply to your situation.

In conclusion, keeping your inheritance in a New York divorce requires careful planning and attention to detail. By keeping good records, opening a separate bank account, avoiding commingling, using a prenuptial agreement, seeking legal advice, proving separate property, keeping inheritance in a trust, avoiding using inheritance as a loan, and keeping inheritance separate during the divorce process, you can take steps to protect your inheritance and ensure that it remains your separate property. It’s also important to consult with a lawyer familiar with New York divorce laws to understand the specific laws in your state and how they may apply to your situation.


This blog is ONLY for informational or educational purposes and DOES NOT substitute professional legal advise. We take no responsibility or credit for what you do with this info.