Property

How to Protect Your Inheritance During a Divorce or Separation

Are you worried about losing your inheritance if you get divorced? 
In Canada, 38% of marriages end in divorce. Most people don't think about that when they start a relationship. It's something to consider if you expect to receive an inheritance in the future. 
It's important to find someone to protect your inheritance.  
There are many factors to consider.  Here's a guide to assist you in understanding what's involved. 

 

What Is Family Property? 

In British Columbia, the division of property is applied under the Family Law Act.  
When you separate, all property you own is considered family property.  That includes property owned by either or both spouses.  There is one exception, and that's “excluded” property. 


Not All Relationships Are Equal 

Many couples are opting for a common-law relationship instead of getting married.  They believe that there's no difference between the two when it comes to a breakup.   
Unfortunately, that's not necessarily true.  When it comes to the division of assets, married couples are treated differently than common-law couples during the first 2 years of the relationship. The law is complex and a lot depends on the details of each case. 
When a couple disagrees on what is a fair division of assets, they will often require the help of a family lawyer. 


Does Marital Property Include Your Inheritance? 

Property that isn't considered divisible falls under different rules. This might be one of property you acquired before you were married.  
It also includes inheritances or gifts. But, how you treat the inheritance makes a difference. 
There are many underlying factors that may determine whether your inheritance is considered excluded property. It's best to find a professional that can provide you with solid advice. 



Is Your Inherited Home at Risk? 

When you receive an inheritance in British Columbia, it's considered your property.  If the value of property increases during the time of your marriage, the increase may be considered divisible property. 
This means a portion of your inherited home may be divisible when you separate or divorce. You know you’re in need of a good divorce attorney when you need a technical interpretation of the law.   



Protect Your Inheritance  

Don't muddy the waters.  It's important to keep a clear separation between your inheritance and the assets you own with your spouse. 
When you mingle your inherited assets with your marital assets, you might be putting them at risk. Be careful when considering putting an inherited asset under joint names. 
When you own inherited real estate or other assets, keep them in your name.  



We Will Help You Protect Your Inheritance 


Our goal is to provide personalized attention to you. We have the skills to ensure your rights are protected at all times. 
Let Dick Byl Law help protect your inheritance. We will provide you with confidential, step-by-step legal guidance during a divorce in British Columbia.