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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 116709
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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I inhereted an investment account made up of various mutual

Customer Question

I inhereted an investment account made up of various mutual funds. The account I set up was a sole and separate. Two years later I change the title of the account to make it joint with my wife. the funds in the account has never changed. It has remained in tact and was not comingled with other funds. I am now getting divorced. Can i claim the account as my separate property?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Once you actually put her on the account as a joint owner, this caused a major issue in that it converted the property from separate property to community property. Had you never put her name on there as a joint tenant, then she could have only claimed the interest or earnings on the account were community property if you invested any funds in there during the time of the marriage. However, even if you never commingled the funds, by putting your spouses name on there as joint tenant, you created a community property asset and the law and courts consider what you did as a gift to her and will now have to divide it.
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Customer: replied 8 months ago.
What about a house that was paid for in cash with my inheritance and both our names are ***** *****
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Same problem. Once you put her name on it you converted it from separate property to community property. If someone wants to keep property separate from inheritance they cannot ever add their spouse's name to it or it converts to community property.