What Will Happen to My Inheritance during an Illinois Divorce?

Apr 9, 2021 | Divorce, Family Law, Property Division

In Illinois, marital property must be divided equitably during a divorce. Is an inheritance considered marital property in Illinois? The good news is that an inheritance isn’t regarded as marital property, but there are exceptions. Those exceptions are why you need the Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler.


What Is Marital Property?

Marital property is all property, including debts and other obligations, brought into the marriage or obtained during the marriage.  This would seem to include an inheritance; however, there is an exception for property acquired by gift, legacy, or descent, including an inheritance. An inheritance would be marital property without the exclusion, but there are also exceptions to the exclusion.


Commuted and Transmuted Property

An inheritance stops being an exclusion and becomes marital property when it is commingled with other family assets. An example would be depositing inherited funds into a joint checking account or using inherited funds for mutual benefit. Another example is financing or refinancing an inherited property into both spouse’s names. Both of these instances are considered a gift to the marital estate and then become marital property.


How an Inheritance Impacts an Illinois Divorce

Even if an inheritance has been excluded from marital assets, it can still significantly affect the division of marital property.

If one party holds on to all of an inheritance in a divorce, those assets can still be considered when deciding the division of other marital assets, likely meaning a smaller share of marital property.


How to Protect Yourself and Your Inheritance

There are many facets to take into consideration when a divorce is imminent, and inheritance is one of them. Attorney Bradley R. Tengler has the necessary experience to ensure you make the right decisions when it comes to protecting your assets.