Going into a marriage when you have your own money and assets can be rather tricky. When those assets are part of an inheritance or if you inherit assets during the course of the marriage, you should understand some basic principles about how inheritance is handled during divorce. Even if you aren't considering a divorce, knowing these points is vital because you never know if or when your marriage might end.
It is important for you to understand that if you want to protect your inheritance, you have to keep it separate. This means that you can't put any of the assets into a joint bank account or keep it with marital assets. If you inherit money, putting it into a joint bank account means that it is now marital property. If you inherit property and place your spouse's name on the property, it is considered marital property.
When you have assets that require upkeep, it is important to use only separate funds to pay for the upkeep. As an example, if you have an inherited home and pay the property taxes out of a joint bank account, the home might be considered marital property.
As you can see, there are a variety of things that you have to think about if you are trying to protect an inheritance in case you divorce. You should make sure that you are doing the right things from the time you get married because failing to do so could mean losing the inherited assets if your marriage ends. Since this is such a serious matter, you should get answers to any questions you have about how to protect your inheritance.
Source: FindLaw, "Inheritance and Divorce," accessed May. 14, 2015