If you’re getting married in Michigan, dealing with the repercussions of divorce is probably the last thing on your mind. Unfortunately, it’s a topic you should consider if you have an inheritance you’d like to protect. Commingling property, such as an inheritance, when you get married means that it is likely to get split if you do divorce.
Distinguishing the difference between separate and community property is essential
One of the main factors signifying how an inheritance is treated if you get divorced is whether you have handled it as separate or community property. Are you planning on having an equitable division of all the property you own when you get married? If so, any inheritance received by you or your spouse would be considered community property and be subject to division if you ever get divorced.
Treating an inheritance received by you or your spouse as separate property is the best action to help ensure you that keep the property if you ever get divorced. Typically, assets and income acquired or earned when you’re married are considered community property. However, inheritances can be kept separate before or after you’re married to be considered separate property, which is not subject to asset division if you get divorced.
Intent is important
If you or your spouse wants to keep an inheritance separate, it’s essential to retain the appropriate documents. Retaining account statements is an excellent way to show the intent to keep an asset separate. If an error does occur, you may have to present the court with evidence proving this element. Having both of you sign a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement would solidify the documentation needed to show who owns each specific asset.
Doing all you can to ensure that an inheritance received by you or your spouse stays separate is important. If both of you want to avoid dealing with future challenges, you should address these matters as soon as possible.