If I transfer land that I own to my3 children and1 child is married, does the spouse of the married child then own 1/2 of that child’s share?

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If I transfer land that I own to my3 children and1 child is married, does the spouse of the married child then own 1/2 of that child’s share?

Asked on June 16, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Gifts and inheritances received during marriage are deemed to be separate property. Consequently, they are not included in a divorce property settlement.  However the gift/inheritance must not be "co-mingled" (i.e. mixed with) with marital assets in any way. If they are they can be "transmuted" (i.e. turned into) marital property and would then be subject to division with a spouse in a divorce. So, for example, if property taxes are due and your married child uses joint assets to pay for them this could give their spouse a claim to the property.

Also, there are other ways to transfer assets to your children; a trust for example. At this point you should consider consulting with an estate planning attorney as to your situation.


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