NEW YORK: Geisel v. Geisel, 659 N.Y.S.2d 511 (1997) How inheritances impact settlements

 
Normally, inheritances are not marital property, so that even if you or your spouse inherited money, and you have been living off the interest, the principal is usally locked up in a trust and is not marital property but in fact separate property. But there are always ways that a good thing can get screwed up.
Geisel stands for the principle that when inherited funds are commingled with marital funds, the inherited funds which are usually separate property can be transformed to marital property. In Geisel, the husband placed his inherited funds into a mutual fund account and stock shares in the parties’ names as joint tenants.   He probably did this when he was madly in love and didn’t stop to think the marriage might one day end.
It’s touching, but it was dumb. As a result, the wife was able to get a share of the inherited fund, because they were no longer separate property after he put them into joint stock accounts.