Thursday, March 4, 2010

Inheritances and Ontario family law

Equalization of net family property is one area of family law where inheritances come into play.

Generally speaking, an inheritance received by a party during the course of the marriage is "excluded" property under Ontario's Family Law Act and such an inheritance is not "shareable" with the other spouse.

There are a number of issues to keep in mind in connection with the above, general statement. The list below is not exhaustive but, rather, it is included to show you how complex this area of family law can be and that you would be well-advised to seek legal advice about it:

1. it matters what the recipient did with the inheritance - for example, if the money was spent on travel for the family, it cannot be claimed as an exclusion..

2. picking up on point 1. - can the whole or any portion of the inheritance be traced to an asset existing at the date of separation/valuation? - if only a portion can be traced, only that portion can be excluded..

3. is the inheritance mingled with other assets and can it be "spliced out"?

4. was the inheritance used, in any way, for the matrimonial home? - this is an important issue and you should seek advice on it...

5. income from an inheritance is treated in a unique way in Ontario  - find out how by contacting a lawyer....

Once again, the receipt of an inheritance during the marriage can impact significantly on the calculation of an equalizing payment on separation/valuation so do not "self-prescribe" in this complex area of family law...seek input from a family law practitioner in your area!

Stunning purple shutters in Alsace, France, via travelblog.org


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