Does my spouse have any legal rights to inherited money? 8 Answers as of July 13, 2011

I recently inherited some money from my deceased parent. Does my spouse have any legal rights to the money?

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The Coyle Law Office
The Coyle Law Office | T. Andrew Coyle
Generally speaking, if you want to ensure that your spouse has no claims to your inherited money - you will want to place the inherited money in an account that does not have your spouse's name on it. Also, you will not want to use that money for general marital debts (like household bills or joint credit cards). As long as you keep that property segregated from your marital property (like a joint checking account), your spouse will not be able to have a claim as to the funds.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 7/13/2011
Apple Law Firm PLLC
Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
No, unless you place the money in a joint bank account or turn it into a gift. That being said, if you were do die, he may have a right to a elective share. You should talk with a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer about how to accomplish your goals.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/13/2011
Ashman Law Office
Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
If you die, via inheritance and year's support, probably yes (a will can affect the answer). In a divorce, usually no, but legal missteps could change that. If the amount is large, see a lawyer to draft paperwork and give advice as to how to keep those funds separate.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 7/12/2011
Donaldson Stewart, PC
Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
Generally speaking, if the inherited funds are kept separate (e.g. not put in a joint bank account or paid toward a joint obligation), then those funds are considered sole and separate property (not subject to division in a divorce).
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 7/12/2011
Asset Protection and Elder Law Center
Asset Protection and Elder Law Center | Shadi Alai-Shaffer
No. Inheritance money is considered separate property money. You need to make sure however that you do not deposit the money into a Joint Account. By doing this you can then affect this and make into a community property/joint money.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/12/2011
    Law Offices of Mark Lewis & Associates, PC
    Law Offices of Mark Lewis & Associates, PC | Andrew C. Spitler
    In Arizona inherited property is the separate property of the spouse who inherits. However, separate property can lose its nature as separate property if you begin to intermingle this property with other marital assets, use the property for the benefit of the marriage or declare it to be community property.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    If you are in California, any property received by way of inheritance is the separate property of the person receiving it and the spouse has no right to separate property. However, if you co-mingle it by putting it into a joint bank account or using it to buy something with the spouse, then it may lose it separate property nature, so to ensure that does not occur, it would be best to place it in a separate bank account.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/12/2011
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