Bishop & Reidy, P.C.
Experienced Legal Counsel Call us today: 888-812-2610 | 617-934-5039 or request an appointment onlinearrow

Divorce, inheritance and property division

When loved ones pass away in Quincy, Massachusetts, the family is left to distribute all of the assets left behind. Sometimes, a loved one will take precautions, and set up a will that directly states who is to get what inheritance. Research demonstrates that many individuals today are losing these inheritances, and inheritances may become a thing of the past.

An article written in the Wall Street Journal finds that 70 percent of those who end up receiving an inheritance will spend that entire inheritance in their lifetime. When considering the 30 percent that do pass some money down, 70 percent of those new individuals will spend the money. This results in 90 percent of the original money being spent by the third generation.

There are many reasons that one may lose their inheritance. One of them is due to poor communication between family members. Sometimes the children are unprepared to handle the inheritance. High fees and poor investments may also contribute.

While in the process of a divorce, it is essential for Massachusetts residents to know their rights in order to protect any inheritance that they have received. Typically, an inheritance is protected from equitable distribution. This is because an inheritance is usually not considered marital property.

States vary in protecting inheritance during a divorce. Many, including Massachusetts, look to how the inheritance is used during the marriage. If the inheritance is used in joint accounts and to make repairs on the family home, the court may consider the inheritance to be marital.

When individuals are sorting through property division in the state of Massachusetts, many complications may arise. Understanding your rights and responsibilities is the first step in ensuring that you are treated fairly.

Source: Rapid City Journal, "Next generation unprepared for using inheritance ," Rick Kahler, June 23, 2013.