Schwam-Wilcox & Associates, Attorneys and Counselors at Law
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Inheritance, is it marital or not?

If you receive an inheritance, is it marital? The answer is it depends. If you receive an inheritance prior to your marriage and you keep this money separate, meaning you do not comingle it, it may remain non-marital funds. If you put it in a joint bank account more likely than not it will lose its non-martial designation and could be subject to equitable distribution. If you purchase an asset with it, it may be considered a gift to the marriage, it may not. This is a very subjective topic when it comes to your jurisdiction and your assigned judge. Like most issues in family law, it is extremely helpful to know your judge and how they rule on certain issues and what evidence they are looking for in order to rule one way or the other. If you receive an inheritance during your marriage, does that automatically make it marital? The answer is no, but again, it depends on what you do with it and where you deposit it. A pre or post nuptial agreement can also change the designation of an inheritance. It is really important to know your legal rights before you make a mistake and do something that will be considered a gift to the marriage or a comingled asset. If your desire is to keep your inheritance non-marital, you need to seek the advice of an attorney before you receive your funds. Here at Schwam-Wilcox & Associates, we assist our client with ensuring they safeguard their accounts, if that is their goal. You can speak to an attorney by setting up a consultation today by calling 407-245-7700 or e-mailing You can also visit our website at


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