Can A Divorce Impact Your Inheritance in New York?

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You have given all that you have in order to preserve your marriage, but it is not enough. For your own private reasons, you need to file for divorce and separate from your spouse. There is no shame in admitting that. However, even if you do not have children, dividing your lives will be a difficult and time-consuming process that could drag on for years. Complicating matters even further, you have an inheritance. If you are not sure whether your former spouse will be entitled to your inheritance, please read on, then contact an experienced Suffolk County property distribution lawyer to learn if a divorce can impact your inheritance in New York.

Can a divorce impact your inheritance in New York?

New York state law specifies that all property acquired during the marriage by either spouse by way of inheritance or gift by a third party will not be subject to equitable distribution. Equitable distribution is the division of property in the event of a divorce. Thus, inheritances are generally not considered marital property and will not be divided between the parties in a divorce. However, this is not always the case. Besides, some former spouses are just ill-willed enough to make a claim for your inheritance. As such, you may need to take some preventive measures to have your ex-spouse’s claim summarily dismissed.

How can you prevent your spouse from claiming your inheritance in New York?

To keep your inheritance from being deemed marital property by New York divorce courts, you should undertake the following actions:

  • Save all documentation that proves the inheritance was intended for you alone and not as a gift for both spouses
  • Place your inheritance in a trust with yourself and your children (if you have any) – and not your spouse – as the beneficiary

Do you need a Suffolk County divorce attorney to protect your inheritance from your spouse?

You do not necessarily need to employ a divorce attorney to protect your inheritance from your spouse, but it is highly advisable. If you are not entirely sure of the legitimacy of his or her claim, you should reach out to a skilled Suffolk County divorce attorney to discuss the risks and potential strategies for preventing a former spouse from taking what is rightfully yours. Do not take a chance; hire a qualified legal representative to fight for you and your rights. Give us a call today.


Peter V. Mandi, Esq. is an experienced divorce and family law attorney located in Bohemia, New York. Our firm understands the impact a divorce can have on your life. If you require strong and dedicated legal representation in Long Island, New York, please do not hesitate to contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. today.

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