Although Texas is a community property state, it is unusual for an inheritance to be divided in a final divorce settlement. This is because it is generally considered to be a separate asset regardless of when it is acquired. However, there are actions that you might take that could convert an inheritance into a community asset.
The various ways that you might commingle an inheritance
It may be possible to turn an inheritance into a community asset by using the money that you received to improve the family home. This may also occur if the money is deposited into a joint bank account or used to pay a joint debt.
You can try to argue that the money wasn’t intended to be shared
An inheritance may remain your separate property after it has been commingled if you can prove that this occurred unintentionally. However, it’s important to note that a court will likely assume that this was not the case. Therefore, you’ll need to have specific records, witness statements or other compelling evidence to convince a judge to agree with your assertion.
It may be a good idea to place the inheritance in a trust
It may be in your best interest to put any money that you receive from a family member into a trust. This is because the assets inside of a trust cannot be seized by creditors or by your spouse. Furthermore, it can be managed by someone who you trust in the event that you become incapacitated. A family law attorney may provide more insight into the potential benefits of placing assets into a trust. An attorney may also help you create the document in accordance with state law.
If you are going to be ending your marriage in the near future, it may be a good idea to speak with a legal representative. He or she may be able to tell you how an inheritance is likely to be handled in a settlement. Your attorney may also explain how other assets might be divided in a final settlement.