Does contributing a portion of my inheritance to a marital home downpayment subject my entire inheritance to comm prop?

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Does contributing a portion of my inheritance to a marital home downpayment subject my entire inheritance to comm prop?

I married last year in 2017. Spouse and I live in California and were married here.
Several months after we were married my father passed away and I inherited a
portion of his estate along with my sister and his wife at the time. I understand
under California law – inheritance is not considered ‘community property’ even
when acquired during the course of the marriage as long no ‘commingling’ or
‘transmutation’ occur. I have it all in seperate accounts, none is joint accounts.
However, I’m getting confused on one detail…

For example, if we purchase a home together…I will most likely use a portion of
my inheritance to contribute to a downpayment. Does that action now make my
ENTIRE inheritance ‘community property’ or just the portion I used for a
downpayment. I’m ok with the latter since I am actively deciding to use a portion
to contribute. But I don’t want subject the entirety of my inheritance to that
‘commingling’/’transmutation’.

Plot Twist – she is not a U.S. citizen.

Asked on December 5, 2018 under Family Law, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You are correct that your inheritance is separate property even if it occurs during marriage.
If you use a portion of the inheritance toward the downpayment on a home, only that portion is community property because property purchased during marriage is community property. As long as there is no comingling with the rest of your inheritance, the rest of your inheritance retains its separate property status and your spouse has no claim to your separate property.


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