Is My Spouse Entitled to My Inheritance?
When going through a separation, many clients ask us whether their inheritance or any future inheritance will be shared upon divorce.
There are a variety of different factors to consider, and it will depend upon the parties’ needs as to whether inheritance will be taken into account. Monies or assets that have been pre-acquired or gifted, are also not automatically excluded from the matrimonial pot, however, could potentially be ring fenced, depending upon your circumstances.
Here at Frodshams Solicitors, our Private Client team are frequently asked by clients whether any monies they seek to leave their adult children in their Will, would be safe should their children later divorce.
What if I have received my inheritance during our marriage?
Many couples receive inheritance during the course of their marriage. Whether the same is to be shared upon divorce depends if such has been mingled during the marriage. If funds have been kept separate from the marriage or family life, there is evidence to suggest that such should be ringfenced. However, many couples use an inheritance received during the marriage to go on holiday, extend their property or use it for everyday living. These monies would be deemed to have been mingled within family life and therefore, the spouse who has received the inheritance is consenting to the sharing principal.
The Court will take into account the needs of both parties and any children of the family. If the Matrimonial Pot is not sufficient to meet the needs of the family, the Court will consider other assets that the parties have available to them, to include an inheritance, to assist in meeting the needs of the family.
How can I protect my inheritance?
It is important to seek legal advice at your earliest opportunity to be advised upon your individual circumstances.
There are other options that you can put in place in order to protect your inheritance, and potential future inheritance, such as entering into a Prenuptial Agreement (prior to marriage) or Postnuptial Agreement (after the marriage). This does not prevent any claim from your spouse, however, recognises the intention of both parties at that time. Upon divorce, the Court will take into account the parties’ intentions when addressing any inheritance, or future inheritance provisions.
If you have recently separated and have concerns for an inheritance that you have received, or if you have concerns upon inheritance prospects, please do not hesitate to contact our team of experts on 01744 626600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a confidential no obligation consultation to discuss your circumstances.
At Frodshams Solicitors, whatever your needs, you can rely upon us to provide legal excellence delivered with care.