Gusty A.E. Sunseri & Associates, P.C. Attorneys at Law

COFFEE SHOP TALK: ARE INHERITED FUNDS SUBJECT TO EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION?

Every morning I stop at the local coffee shop to get my shot of caffeine to start the day. Over the years, coffee shops have become more than a place you run in and grab a java, and then take off. In essence, they have become the new "water cooler" where the guys sit around and talk about inane issues, from sports to politics, to cars, just to pass the time before going to do what they do to make a living. (For whatever reason, it's all guys that hang out-I don't know why-but then again, I do know-no respectful women would be found dead around us.) Actually, the place I go is a little more interesting than that-mostly because of the different personalities that sit around and shoot the "you know what". They all know what I do for a living-so I get all of the "lawyer questions"-especially those relating to divorces. Some questions are more colorful than others, some just more crassly put because of the subject matter. Well come on, we are talking about "divorce" around men. (I'll spare you from hearing this diatribe next time I talk about the Coffee Shop (CS), but this is my introduction of the CS to the blogosphere so it's necessary).

There is one guy that generally asks questions that make you want to crawl under the table. Let's call him Bobby Greenfield, or Bobby G for short. However, yesterday Bobby G came in all excited because he needed an answer to a divorce question and he needed it now. He said that his buddy is going through an ugly marriage right now-the guy lives in the basement - but don't feel sorry. The house is worth a couple million so the basement is probably nicer than most homes. Bobby G says the Wife "inherited a ton" and Bobby G wanted to know if, under Pennsylvania divorce law, the Husband can get a piece of it.

The answer to Bobby's direct question is simple, inheritances are excluded from the marital estate; however, with a sum that large, there should be substantial appreciation in the corpus of the monies which is part of the marital estate and, therefore, subject to equitable distribution. So, I told Bobby that he should have his buddy call my good friend Tony Siragusa, the ex football star, now star commentator and host of "Man Caves" and get Tony to redo that basement into a really cool "cave" and, then, just wait and let the corpus appreciate.

If you have any "Coffee Shop" questions or need divorce advice, please give my Pittsburgh legal office, Gusty A.E. Sunseri & Associates, a call for a free consultation.

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Gusty A.E. Sunseri & Associates, P.C.

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