All Arizona couples getting divorces will have to make decisions about how everything they amassed while they were married will be divided. States have different laws when it comes to the division of marital property, and these laws regulate how property will be divided. In Arizona, which is a community property state, all marital property will be divided equally.
Inherited money, however, is generally not considered to be marital property. According to the law, money you inherited will stay your property, unless you fail to keep the inherited funds separate from marital funds. This is because inheritance in not an entitlement but rather a privilege.
Attorneys advise that when you inherit money, the best thing to do is to open a separate account into which the inherited funds can be deposited. The account should only be in the name of the beneficiary. No money that can be considered marital property should be deposited into this account. If you should deposit marital funds into the account containing the inherited funds, it is likely that the full balance will then be seen as part of the assets you and your spouse jointly hold.
An Arizona family law attorney will be able to advise you on the best way to ensure that your inheritance does not become part of your marital property. In this manner, your inheritance will be safeguarded in the case of a divorce. Keeping an inheritance separate from marital assets can make the division of marital property in the case of a divorce a lot less complicated.
Source: divorce.lovetoknow.com, “Divorce Law and Inherited Money“, Jodee Redmond, May 21, 2015