On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
Determining how to divide marital debt is one of the most pressing concerns for divorcing spouses, in Florida and across the nation. One aspect of property division that many people are unprepared for involves inherited wealth. Without the proper protections in place, an inheritance can be subject to division between spouses during a divorce. There are several ways to protect an inheritance, but spouses must take action to harness those protections.
The best way to shield an inheritance during a divorce is by drafting a prenuptial agreement prior to walking down the aisle. A prenup can contain specific language that addresses inherited wealth. If a prenup is not possible, then a postnuptial agreement can be put into place. This is an especially effective tool for spouses who find out that they are going to receive an inheritance after they have already married, but want to ensure that those assets are not lost in a divorce.
Finally, the creation of a living trust is another way to protect the inheritance from loss during property division. When assets are placed within a trust, the trust itself becomes the “owner” of the assets. The beneficiaries are able to receive wealth from the trust, but the base of assets remains protected from loss through litigation, including divorce.
For those in Florida who are concerned about shielding their inheritance from potential loss in the event of a divorce, it may be helpful to schedule an appointment with a family law lawyer to discuss the available options. In many cases, the loved one who is planning to hand down wealth will want to be part of that process. In fact, some will ask that protections be put into place prior to the creation of estate planning that would enable an inheritance.
kiplinger.com, “Strategically Thinking About Divorce“, Andrew Bass, April 5, 2017