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Divorce questions: Can I keep my inheritance?

Imagine you received an inheritance of $100,000 from your uncle and a year later you decide to get a divorce. You're probably concerned about whether you'll get to keep your inheritance money or if you'll need to split it with your soon-to-be ex.

The answer to this question largely depends on what you did with the inheritance after receiving it.

If you deposited your inheritance into an individual account

If you deposited your inheritance money into an individual bank account or investment account, and not a joint account shared with your spouse, then you'll probably get to keep the entirety of your inheritance money for yourself. The law treats inheritance money differently than other money and assets earned during the course of your marriage. If you're diligent not to "commingle" inherited assets with the assets that you share with your spouse through a joint account, then you're likely in the clear.

If you deposited your inheritance into a joint account

If you deposited your inheritance into a joint investment or bank account, or if you used the inheritance money to improve your family home or invested it into the improvement of jointly held assets with your spouse, then you will face challenges in trying to keep your inherited money.

However, even if you've "commingled" your inherited assets, you might still have the option to fight to keep the money you inherited in select circumstances. Your ability to keep commingled assets will depend on the nature of your relationship with your spouse, the length of your marriage, the judge's opinion on your case and other financial and asset division considerations.

Learn about your inheritance and family law rights

An in-depth understanding of Minnesota inheritance and divorce laws will help you understand your asset division rights. When you're transparent and honest about all of your assets and liabilities during your divorce proceedings, and when you follow legal protocol as it pertains to jointly and individually held assets, you will have the best chance of ensuring you are fairly treated under the law during the asset division process associated with your divorce proceedings.

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