If a spouse inherits real property (real estate) or personal property (money, stocks, bonds, art, jewelry, antiques, etc.) before or during marriage, it is generally separate property (not marital property) and is not subject to division upon divorce in equitable distribution/common law property states or in community property states. But any appreciation or increase in the value of such separate property (e.g., real estate, stocks) and any income from such separate property (rental payments, stock dividends) may be marital or community property—unless the parties agree otherwise in a written prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
An important exception to this general rule is the situation in which separate property from an inheritance is commingled with marital or community property—by placing funds from both sources in the same bank account, for example, or holding (titling) real estate from both sources in the same entity (limited liability company, family limited partnership, etc.).