Case Study:
Inherited money

Facts: Judy inherited $2.5 million from her mother and deposited it in a separate bank account. Periodically she withdrew money which she deposited into the joint account to pay bills.
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“I'd highly recommend Ken for anyone going through a divorce. Ken and his associates gracefully handled my divorce, which included a long list of complex assets, with a gentle yet firm hand that helped avoid confrontation. The result two years later, I have good relations with my ex-wife because we avoided litigation, which also would have been a tremendous waste of money.”

Will your property distribution decisions be made rationally or emotionally?

The concept of “Equitable Distribution” sounds straight-forward but often it isn’t.

Our attorneys’ strong business background and our firm’s experience in handling intricate financial issues uniquely positions us to help you distribute assets fairly without impairing their value. It sounds simpler to divide property than draft custody arrangements, because most people think only of real estate property. They forget other assets such as cars, stock and investment accounts, and antique collections. Remembering key information about your assets, such as when an asset was acquired, helps to avoid the misclassification of separate property assets as marital property (which makes them subject to distribution).

Acquisition dates matter.

When a divorce occurs, property is put into two categories: separate property and marital property.

  • “Separate Property” AND “Marital Property”
  • Separate property is property that is either acquired before the parties’ wedding date or through inheritance during the marriage. Absent specific circumstances, separate property exclusively belongs to the spouse owning the property.
  • Marital property is property that is acquired after the parties’ wedding date. When a couple divorces, most, if not all, marital property is divided between the parties. This can create complications when the property includes:
    • complex and closely held private companies;
    • real estate;
    • family businesses;
    • financial services firms;
    • stock options;
    • restricted stock units;
    • deferred compensation plans; and/or
    • trusts and deferred tax-planning strategies.

You can be comfortable that our broad expertise and extensive experience working with these asset classes enable us to be strong negotiators on your behalf.

Let’s talk about your concerns regarding your asset base in the event of divorce.

As your lawyers, we can help you avoid actions that could devalue or unduly tax your assets. We are skilled at working with you to determine how to divide your property fairly and with as minimal an overall financial impact as possible.

We seek to find the best solutions for clients who want to move on. Please contact our office to learn how we can help you move your life forward in the positive direction you are looking for.

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