Inheritance and Co-Mingling

Shelly had an inheritance from her family. Inheritance is defined as separate property. However, when she received the inheritance she invested it in her and her Husband’s home. Both Shelly and John, her Husband, made the decisions concerning where to invest the funds. John’s lawyer argued that the funds lost their definition as separate property when the funds were placed in joint names. John’s lawyer further argued that he contributed to the appreciation of the assets by helping to make investment decisions concerning the funds.

Shelly’s lawyer stated that the original funds were traceable to separate property, since it was inheritance. The parties ended up settling, treating 60% of the original inheritance as separate property to the Wife. The remaining 40% of the original inheritance and 100% of the appreciation were treated as marital property and split evenly between the Wife and Husband.