How is an inheritance dealt with during a divorce?
Brian S. Loughmiller’s Answer:
Inheritance is a separate property item. Even if you inherit during the marriage, the other spouse is really not entitled to any of that inheritance. The difficulty, especially in long-term marriages, is going back and tracing what happened to the funds from that inheritance. Ultimately, you only retain your separate property interests if you can prove at the time that you are getting divorced that that money is still there. People inherit money and put it in a joint bank account, or they use it to take their family on vacation or to buy gifts, and now the other spouse says that the inheritance no longer exists, or that it was co-mingled with community funds and you can’t identify it anymore. It becomes a tracing issue to prove the separate property inheritance and, if you can do that, you’re going to receive 100% of it. But it’s not always as easy as people would like to think.