Often, individuals may consider if and how they should pass along gifts of money or property to those loved ones who will outlive them. When a Colorado resident receives money or property during the probate process, it is considered an inheritance. Although particular facts and circumstances may shift an inheritance from the sole property of an individual to the marital property of a couple, inheritances generally are considered separate property when it comes to dividing property during a divorce.
Inheritances that are acquired by a party prior to their marriage will remain the individual’s separate property, so long as they do not mix it with property shared by both partners to the marriage. Similarly, an inheritance received by one spouse during a marriage will stay that spouse’s separate property, unless the recipient comingles it with property held jointly by both of the spouses.
If an inheritance is given jointly to a person and their spouse, then that sum or property may be considered marital property and divided pursuant to the rules of property division in Colorado. Readers with specific questions about this property division topic are asked to speak with their family law or divorce attorneys about the particulars of their cases.
Inheritances are often intended to enrich the lives of younger relatives through the patronage of an elder loved one. As they are generally made to individuals, inheritances stay the separate property of the recipients, as long as they are not combined with property that is held collectively between spouses.