Family Law and Inheritance Money


What happens to Inheritance Money?

One question that often comes up in family law matters is:

What happens if I received an inheritance during the relationship or post separation? We are often asked if you can “get it back” when dividing the assets.

The short answer is maybe. It depends on a number of factors including:
1. When you received the inheritance (well before separation, around the time of separation or after separation)
2. How long your relationship was
3. What the inheritance was applied to (ex. a mortgage or if there are monies sitting in a bank account)
4. What the size of the pool is now
5. What the financial and non financial contributions during the relationship were

Once we have the above information, our office will be in a better position to advise you on your particular circumstances. There is a myriad of case law on this exact issue and the above factors are often determining factors as to whether or not the inheritance monies can be “quarantined” or not.
Conversely, if you are considering entering into a new relationship and there is a possibility you could receive an inheritance in future, it is also important you get advice as to how to protect your financial interests. This could be done by way of a Financial Agreement (which some may colloquially call a prenuptial agreement). This Agreement can outline what you and your prospective partner intend to do in the event of a separation. In that Agreement you can specifically outline what is to occur to any inheritance monies or assets that are received during the course of a relationship to ensure you are protected prior to commencing your new relationship.
We welcome you to contact our office should you have any questions.  Click here for our contact details.