An Alaska case last month is causing quite a stir.
Krize v. Krize, Alaska Supreme Court, September 29, 2006
"Where the beneficiary remains on generally good terms with the donor, and particularly where the donor is a parent or other close family member, it is a rare case where the expected gift or inheritance will completely fail to yield any benefits at all. The better position, therefore is that the court may consider an expected gift or inheritance as one relevant factor in dividing the marital estate. Of course, the weight of a future gift or inheritance as a division factor should depend heavily upon the degree of likelihood that benefits will actually be received...
We therefore conclude that it is not inherently improper for a court to consider the possibility of inheritance in some cases. Because property divisions cannot be reopened, however, courts must be cautious in using this factor. On remand, the court should permit further discovery on this issue and on the extent to which Robert's interests have vested. Interests that have already vested may be considered as an asset of the beneficiary when the superior court divides the property."