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Is my husband entitled to my inheritance?

Schererville, IN |

My husband's name is not listed as a beneficiary, not are any of the children's spouses. So is he entitled to 1/2 of my inheritance because of marriage?

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

Because from your question we do not know the situation or how the inheritance is coming to you this question can't really be answered. Generally speaking however, in most inheritance situations the spouse is not entitled to an inheritance of the other spouse who is receiving it....often times we advise married persons to keep their inheritance separate for divorce reasons, etc. If the person inheriting does co-mingle the assets with marital assets then the inheritance can become the property of the non-inheriting spouse. Typically, if the person inheriting has children, and the will has language stating it, the inheritance can pass to the children of the deceased beneficiary.

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website: http://www.stevenzelinger.com/

Posted

Indiana law provides some "safety net" to prevent people from disinheriting their spouses entirely. If husband and you own any property "Jointly With Rights of Survivorship," or as "Tenants by the Entireties," or "husband and wife", then upon your death he will receive ALL of that property or account. That has nothing to do with your estate plan; it's a matter of property law. If you have no will or trust, then a surviving spouse receives up to 1/2 of your estate, depending on whether you have children together. If you leave a will that gives him less than what he would receive under the preceding sentence, then he can "elect against your will" to ensure he gets that property.
Your specific facts and circumstances are, of course, crucial for determining exactly what goes where. You should consult a local estate planning attorney to help you achieve your goals within the parameters of Indiana law. If I can assist in that regard, please call for an appointment.
veRONIca jarnagin, atty, pc
317-253-7664

veRONIca jarnagin, atty, pc 317-253-7664 provides this response as general guidance and not specific legal advice. If you wish to receive specific legal advice for your situation, please call to schedule an appointment.

Veronica L. Jarnagin

Veronica L. Jarnagin

Posted

Perhaps I misunderstood your question. As for an inheritance that you are receiving, then you should keep that in a separate account listed in YOUR NAME ONLY. Do NOT add it to any account that you own jointly with him. Do not pay from that separate any expenses that are considered "marital" or joint expenses for the two of you, such as mortgage, health care, etc. Of course, it would also be beneficial to have him sign an agreement that, upon your demise or divorce, such inheritance will not be considered part of the marital estate; however, you will have to provide some kind of "consideration" to him for giving up his rights to such property. That is because this agreement would be considered a "post-nuptial" agreement (vs. a pre-nup). I would be happy to represent you in this matter.

Asker

Posted

Thank you for your clarification. I will need to be represented for a divorce and also to make sure that he does not get any inheritance that I may or may not receive However, you are in Indianapolis and I am in northwest Indiana; Dyer to be exact. Do you have anyone here that you could recommend or do you travel the state?

Veronica L. Jarnagin

Veronica L. Jarnagin

Posted

You can find AVVO-rated attorneys in your area at this website.

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