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inheritance

Is My Inheritance Fair Game If I Divorce?

For some people, an inheritance means more than money. It represents the wishes of their ancestors to provide security for the next generation and to allow the family’s legacy to carry forward. Naturally, when a marriage ends and the issue of property division must be addressed, conflicts flare up—especially when wealth and complex property at stake. The existence of an inheritance adds another layer of pressure to the issue, which creates questions about whether inheritance is fair game when it comes to community property.

Property Inherited Before and After Marriage Is Separate Property

Nevada is a community property state, which means that when a marriage ends, all property and debts acquired during the marriage are considered marital property, the value of which is equally split between the couple. Inheritance is an exception, in that all property owned by a spouse coming into a marriage, as well as all property “acquired by him or her afterward by gift, bequest, devise, descent or by an award for personal injury damages, with the rents, issues and profits thereof, is his or her separate property.”

In other words, inheritance explicitly left to one spouse during a marriage is that spouse’s separate property and not community property should their marriage end.

Co-mingling Property Can Transform Inheritance Into Community Property

Despite the fact that inheritance is considered the separate property of the spouse who receives it before or during a marriage, an inheritance can change classifications from separate property into community property. This commonly occurs when there is a commingling of separate property with marital property—such as when inheritance is put into a joint bank account, the proceeds of which are used to benefit both spouses. It is therefore wise to consult with an attorney so that a careful and thoughtful approach is taken regarding inheritance.

Contact Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P.

If you are getting divorced, you need help protecting your property rights. If you have wealth, property division can be a complex and highly contested issue. You need a smart, proven attorney who will fight for your legal rights. At Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman, L.L.P., our attorneys experienced, knowledgeable, and well respected. We will partner with experts to ensure that your property is properly classified and appraised, to make sure that you leave your marriage with everything to which you are entitled. Contact Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. today at (775) 227-2280 to schedule a consultation or contact our office through our website.

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