PRENUPTIALS AND ESTATE PLANNING
Prenuptial agreements are often considered in the context of a potential divorce. However, they should also be considered as part of an estate plan.
Prenuptials typically cover three areas: protection of separate property, division of property and inheritance rights.
A prenuptial can protect pre-marital or inherited assets from becoming mixed with assets and property accumulated during the marriage that would otherwise be divided up as part of an estate after death. Therefore, it is important to coordinate a prenuptial with wills and trusts. A prenuptial can override a prior will or trust or build a case to contest other documents.
If there is no will, prenuptial or trust in place, a surviving spouse has the right to claim a substantial portion of the deceased spouse’s estate, depending on its value.
Anyone contemplating marriage that has significant assets, or expects a sizeable inheritance, should be sure to coordinate a prenuptial with the rest of their estate.