Divorce and Inheritance: What You Need to Know Before You Inherit

When you are happily married, you may decide to place inherited assets into joint names. When your marriage is over, will you regret doing so? Before you inherit, read this.

Your inheritance is your separate property whether you inherited the funds before, during or after your marriage. However, while there can be some exceptions, if you place the inherited money into joint names, this “comingling” may convert your separate property into marital property.

In Pennsylvania, the appreciation, i.e. the growth on your separate property during the marriage through the date of separation, is a marital asset regardless of how the asset is titled. For example, if you inherit $100,000.00 and and when you separate that account is worth $125,000.00, $25,000 would be marital property. The original $100,000 remains your separate property.

Another note about inheritance.

Did you know that in Pennsylvania you cannot disinherit your spouse without their permission?

Your spouse can sue your estate for a share even if you disinherited them in your Will. If this is not your intention, you should consider a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement with a spousal waiver.

Now that you know about divorce and inheritance in broad brush strokes, do you want to know the finer points and how they affect your circumstance? Get started here.

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