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How to protect your inheritance from being split up in a divorce

While marriage is supposed to be all about sharing your life with someone else, not all marriages are meant to last forever. This is why many couples seek to protect their assets from ending up in the hands of their ex if they get divorced. If there's the potential that you'll receive an inheritance during your marriage, then you'll want to take certain measures before you marry to avoid your spouse being able to stake claim to it if you divorce.

One thing you can do to protect an inheritance or a family business that you're expecting to receive is by drafting a prenuptial agreement before you walk down the aisle. If written correctly, a prenup will clearly spell out that you don't want your ex to be entitled to any of your inheritance in the event you two divorce.

Another step you can take to protect your assets is by not discarding any documentation that establishes or suggests that the inheritance was intended for just you and not both you and your spouse.

On the decedent's gift tax return, filed by the executor of his or her estate, it discloses the names of the individual beneficiaries and amounts left to him or her. If it lists only one name, then this may be indicative of the fact that the inherited amount was only intended for one of the spouses.

In dealing with inheritances or assets that you wish to clearly denote as separate from your spouse's, you may also want to keep them in separate bank accounts.

You also may benefit from having monies or assets gifted to you as part of a trust. If you do, though, you should have the terms of it reflect that it's only intended for you. The terms of it should also reflect that it cannot be readily transferred to your ex should you two divorce.

Finally, if you have any real estate or cars that you might want to protect from being split up in a divorce, then they should be titled in one spouse's name alone. Additionally, any repairs that are made to those properties or vehicles should be paid by the spouse holding the title.

If you are preparing to marry and want to protect your personal possessions from being considered as marital ones, then a Naples, Florida, prenuptial agreement attorney can provide guidance in your legal matter.

Source: Wall Street Journal, "How to keep your inheritance in a divorce," Neil Parmar, accessed Oct. 06, 2017

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