Divorce And Inherited Wealth
Posted on 26th June 2020
If you have received or are due to receive inheritance and going through a divorce, whether or not the inheritance will enter the “pot” of matrimonial assets may be a real concern.
Will my finances be looked into if I get divorced?
It is important to remember that just because you have dealt with the ending of the marriage it does not necessarily mean that you have dealt with the finances of the marriage. More on this here.
I have inherited money; will this be taken into account when I divorce?
The general rule is that if you have inherited land, money or property all inherited wealth will be considered regardless of whose side of the family it comes from, unless there is a very good reason for it not to be taken into account.
How do I find out if inheritance will be taken into account when I divorce?
The easiest way to find out what will happen to any assets you have inherited throughout your marriage is to contact our divorce Solicitors for a consultation.
It is important to note that every case is different but due to our experience in dealing with financial matters on divorce we can provide you with the most likely outcome for your specific circumstances.
Is my ex-spouse entitled to a share of my inheritance?
First, we must consider whether the inheritance has come before the divorce or whether it is future inheritance which has not yet been received but that is due to you nonetheless.
Past Inheritances and Divorce
A recent Court of Appeal case set out some key points in terms of what should be considered when it comes to past inheritance although this was caveated with a reminder that every case will turn on its own facts and circumstances:
- If inherited assets are transferred to the joint names of the married couple or the assets are used for the benefit of said couple or family then the Court is more likely to reach the finding that the inheritance forms part of the matrimonial assets
- Inherited assets received shortly before the breakdown of a marriage will be less likely to form part of the matrimonial assets, but this exclusion will be subject to whether or not other assets are available to meet future needs of the divorcing couple
- The needs of the family, particularly where the needs of minor children must be met, will be the overriding consideration and if the only way to meet those needs is by using inherited assets then the Court will lean favourably towards the inclusion of the inherited assets as part of the matrimonial “pot”
Future Inheritance and Divorce
As a general rule any future inheritances will not be taken into account when dealing with the financial aspect of a divorce. Nevertheless, our Probate Solicitors do caution that if it is expected that the person making the bequest will pass away in the near future and the inheritance is likely to be substantial, the Courts may adjourn the proceedings until the estate has been distributed.
How can I protect my inheritance if I am going through a divorce?
MG Legal’s Family Law Team always have our Client’s best interests at the forefront of their mind. To book a consultation contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01524 581 360.
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