How Do Marital Separation And Inheritance Combine?

Law Blog

If you are wondering about the implications of marital separation on the will, either for the hypothetical or imminent effects, read on to find out how separation can affect some of your spouses' rights to your assets.

Physical Separations

The first type of separation is a simple physical separation, meaning you live in different places. In this type of separation agreement, the spouse is still legally considered your partner; they inherit property just like any other spouse. If you don't have children, the spouse inherits everything. If you have children only with this spouse, they still inherit everything, along with the children. A legal split will be determined by the spouse and children of a previous marriage.

Legal Separations

If you have a state that recognizes legal separation arrangements, check with your lawyer to find out what that means. Some consider the same property inheritance rules, while others make it easier to disinherit a spouse when you are legally separated.

Speak With a Lawyer

In a complicated situation like this, whether you want to prevent or allow your spouse to inherit property, it is a great idea to take the concerns up with your lawyer.

One thing they may advise, if you are able, is a divorce. That can be painful for many families, especially if you believe that the will may come into play shortly. It's hard to place a strain on a family when you may be in your last weeks, months, or years. So, there are alternatives.

In some cases, you can disinherit a spouse if there is a significant reason. Separation, especially if it was for good reason, could be grounds for legally denying a spouse your property.

Providing strong reasons for the split of assets is always a good thing. Perhaps your children or some other family member needs the money and assets much more than another. Perhaps there was a serious misconduct within the family that means one person should not inherit anything from your will.

On the other side, you may be concerned that the property would go to someone else other than your spouse. Rest assured that if you are still legally married, it should be an easy claim to make when assigning the property to your spouse. Since no two cases are identical, let your estate planning services attorney, like, be the guide when helping your decide which course of action to take, if any is needed.


9 May 2017