One of the most common assets people leave to their children as an inheritance is property. Whether it’s the family home, a summer beach house, or multiple personal properties, there’s no question that these properties are very valuable and need to be protected. No one gets married with the intention of getting divorced, but unfortunately, we see many divorce cases during which ownership of inherited property is contested. Here’s what you need to know about protecting your property.
Protecting inherited real estate
- Create and sign a prenuptial agreement that states any inherited properties, or properties that will be inherited upon a parent’s death, belong solely to one party and should not be considered marital assets or marital homes.
- Don’t use your inherited property as your marital home. While on paper the property may be entirely yours, once you begin using it as a family home, things can become tricky to handle legally. This is because the courts may consider your inherited property to be your matrimonial home, and your spouse or ex-spouse may have some claim to it, especially if you live there as a family for a long period of time.
- Save all documentation proving that the property is intended for you alone to inherit.
- Put your inherited property in a trust, naming either you or your children as the beneficiary.
- A postnuptial agreement is also an option if both parties are amenable to it.
Guidance from an experienced NJ real estate lawyer
If you want to safeguard your inherited property, we recommend contacting an experienced real estate attorney who can discuss your options and help you file the appropriate paperwork. Each inheritance case is unique, and so is each marriage and divorce, so you need a lawyer who understands your particular circumstances and all the legal stipulations you may encounter.
For more information about how a real estate lawyer can help you protect your inheritance, or if you have any questions, please contact our NJ real estate attorneys at SCC Legal today. We look forward to hearing from you.