Marital Assets and Florida Inheritances
Division of assets accumulated during a marriage is part of the divorce process, but sometimes individuals aren’t sure of what is a marital asset. For instance, a person might wonder whether their inheritance is subject to division.
In the state of Florida, where equitable distribution laws govern divorce proceedings, how an inheritance is treated is based on several factors. While there are basic guidelines that can be turned to for answers, each situation should be reviewed individually. To learn if your inheritance will be subject to division, connect with a West Palm Beach family attorney.
Establishing Which Valuable Accounts Are Marital Assets
To comprehend how inheritances are treated when a Florida couple divorces, you need to first understand the concept of marital assets. Marital assets refer to the property and finances acquired by either spouse during the course of their union, and all of these assets are subject to equitable distribution. Equitable distribution laws, which do not necessarily mean an even split, aim to ensure that each party receives a fair share of the marital assets based on the surrounding circumstances.
Generally, an individual’s inheritance is considered separate property, even if the inheritance was received during the course of the marriage. According to Florida law, assets acquired through inheritance are usually exempt from equitable distribution, but this relies on the funds not being commingled.
If the inheritance has been commingled with marital assets, such as taking inheritance funds and depositing them into a joint bank account or using the funds to purchase jointly-owned property, the funds then will likely be viewed as marital assets subject to division.
Possible Ways to Protect Your Inheritance
To safeguard your inheritance, whether you are deciding to separate and divorce now or simply want to shield them from division later, it is crucial to maintain a clear distinction between inherited funds and marital assets.
Some steps you can take to keep inheritance funds distinct:
- Keep accurate records. Your records should demonstrate the source and nature of your inheritance, this could include wills, trust documents, and bank statements.
- Don’t commingle funds. Keep your inherited funds in an account that is solely in your name. Avoid adding inheritances to joint accounts or using the funds for joint expenses.
- Consult an attorney. When questions arise, talk to a legal professional. An experienced Florida lawyer can advise you once they understand your situation today and your long-term objectives.
If you are interested in learning more about how to maximize the likelihood of your inheritance being a separate asset and minimize the risk of it being subject to division during Florida divorce proceedings, discuss the details of your situation with a West Palm Beach family attorney.
Have you been curious about how your inheritance will be handled should you choose to separate or divorce? Bring your questions about inheritance funds and marital assets to the lawyers at Bruce S. Rosenwater & Associates. With years of Florida family law experience on your side, you can build the future you want. Book your free initial consultation today.