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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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My son married in Massachusetts. There is now inheritance from

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My son married in Massachusetts. There is now inheritance from his father , who was American but lived abroad and the inheritance is a part of the proceeds from the sale of his father and mother's (myself) house in France, where welived. Does ths inheritance go to only my son or to both my son and his wife??
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

Inheritance goes solely to the son, and not his wife (unless she was directly named in the will). Any inheritance received is considered separate property is solely owned and controlled by the heir, and not their spouse.

Hope that helps.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 2/1/2010 at 10:48 AM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Is there a US legal reference that I can give to the notaire here ? Is this a federal or state thing?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
To clarify, is this a federal or state law and is there a legal reference I can give ? Is it called seperation des biens??
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your follow-up. This is basic US common law--there is no formal federal or state statute that governs. It is understood that when someone is named to receive from an estate, only they receive and not their spouse or family. "Separation des biens" is a french term describing that the inheritance is treated as a "separate estate". I have been reviewing Mass General laws and could not find anything specifically on point for you.

What you can suggest to your son, if he wishes to maintain the inheritance solely, is to not place the funds into the joint spousal account. So long as he maintains his interest separate from his wife's, there is less likelihood that the spouse can claim that she or the family is entitled to a portion. She may still make a claim on the earnings of the estate, but not the principal amount.

Hope that helps.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 2/1/2010 at 6:39 PM EST
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