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Estate Planning

How to Protect Your Inheritance From Your Spouse

By March 13, 2023April 25th, 2024No Comments

Did you know in Texas, inheritance is considered separate property and not subject to division during a divorce? So, nothing to worry about, right? Well, unfortunately, things are a little more complex. So, if you’re concerned about protecting your inheritance from your spouse, it’s best not to assume you are protected. Therefore, you must ensure that your separate property is recognized and protect what is rightfully yours. Our Bryan, Texas, family and estate planning law firm will guide you through protecting your inheritance from your spouse.

Your spouse is never entitled to your inheritance in Texas; however, you must protect it.

Under Texas law, the court cannot award a separate property. So, people may believe they won’t have their separate estate or, in this case, inheritance given to the other spouse. However, that’s not always the case. Property is presumed to be community property until a party states with evidence that the property is separate.

A common mistake is when a married couple combines assets, including an inheritance, and may even live off a spouse’s estate. If the couple then decides to divorce. One party may feel as if they are still entitled to that inheritance that they have been living on. Unfortunately, suppose that party didn’t take proper steps to keep inheritance separate property. In that case, the estate may be considered part of the dividing assets for both parties while the divorce case is pending.

How to protect your inheritance separate from your spouse

Whether you are getting a divorce or want to be proactive about protecting your inheritance from your spouse, there are steps you can take to maintain control of your inheritance. As a family and estate planning Texas law firm, we encourage our clients who enter into marriage with an inheritance or estate to take steps to have the courts confirm those assets as separate property.

If you want to protect your inheritance, the first step is to think about the following options.

Protect your inheritance by setting up a trust.

If you come into an inheritance, you should search for a Bryan, Texas, estate planning attorney that will answer all your questions and help you protect your inheritance, assets, and tangible assets by setting up a trust. The more tangible access you have to funds from an estate, the more challenging it will be to protect an inheritance from divorce settlement proceedings and your spouse.

Get a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement to protect your inheritance.

One of the best ways to protect your assets and inheritance is to be proactive and get a prenup or postnup. Not only can pre-and post-marital agreements allow you to confirm separate property, but they can also simplify things in the event of divorce.

Prenups and postnups are created to specify who owns what in the event of divorce and typically include an inventory list, account numbers, and related disclosures, among other details. You can also include a portion specifically for protecting your business interests. It is important to note that both parties must agree to and sign all documents for a prenup or postnup to be valid.

Seek a summary judgment from the court to preserve your inheritance.

You can also have a summary judgment to define what portion of your estate is separate property. A summary judgment is a typically quick option if you plan to file for a divorce relatively soon.

Protect your financial accounts.

The best way to ensure that your inheritance remains separate property is to take specific steps to keep the property separate from the property owned by the community.

  • Place money or investments in a separate account
  • Do not combine your inheritance into a joint account
  • Tangible family assets should only be your name
  • Maintain detailed and complete records
  • As mentioned above, create a written agreement with your partner acknowledging the status of the property.

Suppose you are concerned about keeping the inherited property as separate property. In that case, it’s best to talk to a family and estate planning attorney who can provide specific advice about your unique situation. Inheritance and property can become complex when the property is combined. So it’s best to keep things separate from the beginning rather than try to separate them later on.

Watch the video: Do You Have a Plan Once Your Divorce is Final?

Need help with your estate planning?

Protecting your inheritance and your assets is essential. If you have questions or need guidance in putting your plan and wishes in place. Our attorneys are here to help you protect your assets and ensure that your family is taken care of. Download our free Estate Planning Guide.  If you have questions about estate planning, contact C.E. Borman & Associates at 979-271-6343.



C.E. Borman & Associates is an American Lawyer Top 100 Law Firm. 

C.E. Borman & Associates have served the Brazos Valley for over 20 years. Our attorneys and legal staff are committed to straight talk and honest advice.

We provide exceptional value to our clients and often make life-long, remarkable changes that benefit future generations. Contact us if you need a divorce or family law attorney. Call (979) 200-6680.

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