Prenuptial agreements can play an important role in estate planning–particularly for spouses with children from former relationships.
Prenuptial agreements can serve many important purposes.
1. The more obvious purpose—separating marital property from individual property in the case of a divorce.
2. An often overlooked, but equally important function—separating marital property from individual property for estate planning purposes.
Frequently, when spouses are bringing significant assets into a marriage, there are concerns about what happens to those assets. If one or both spouses have been previously married, a prenuptial agreement can be useful in separating which assets go to their respective children upon each spouse’s death. A prenuptial agreement does not replace other estate planning documents. However, it can be an effective, additional tool in many circumstances.
If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, please see an experienced attorney. There are countless ways in which one could create an agreement that would be invalidated. The timing of the agreement in relation to the wedding, each prospective spouse having separate attorneys, full disclosure of assets, and the actual manner of division are among several key considerations which an attorney can advise you on.