Does my spouse have legal claim to my family inheritance?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Does my spouse have legal claim to my family inheritance?

I have been separated not legally from my spouse for over 10 years. My parents are getting up there in age and are worried that my ex will have claim to my inheritance if they should pass before a divorce is final. It is my understanding that he cannot unless he can show I had intent to share such as depositing the money in a joint account.

Asked on October 31, 2016 under Family Law, Oregon


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Typically, an inheritance is consisdered to be the separate property of the spouse who inherits. That having been said, at such time as funds are in some way commingled (e.g. deposited into a joint account), they may "transmute" into marital propety. Therefore, care should be taken not to mix these funds in any way. At this point, you may want to consult with a local attorney who can best advise as to your specific situation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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