If my father owns property of which I am the beneficiary, does my spouse have rights to this property in the event my father dies and we divorce?

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If my father owns property of which I am the beneficiary, does my spouse have rights to this property in the event my father dies and we divorce?

Asked on February 17, 2013 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

Stacey Schlimmer / Schlimmer Law, LLC

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Though laws will vary by state, generally, inherited or gifted property is considered the personal property of the person who receives it. However, any interest or dividends received off said property during the marriage is considered joint marital property and is generally split equitably.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

What you are asking about here is estate planning information which is always a good thing before rather than after, if you know what I mean.  The rule is that property - real or personal - that is inherited is considered separate property and not subject to equitable distribution upon divorce in New York.  However, if the property is in some way co-mingled (like you put his name on the property) then the separate property could become marital property.  Always keep it separate and if there are proceeds from the property keep them separate too.  Good luck.


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