Planning to marry soon? Is this a second marriage for both you and your future spouse? If your answer is yes to both questions, are you considering a prenuptial agreement? Do you know what a prenuptial agreement actually is? It is a contract between two parties who intend to marry. The prenuptial agreement will outline exactly what property the parties agree to keep as separate, non-marital property and how that property will be divided in the event of a dissolution of the marriage or the death of a spouse. Even though a prenuptial agreement sometimes has a negative connotation, entering into a prenuptial agreement does not necessarily mean you do not have faith in your upcoming marriage or want to plan for a divorce.
As you plan to remarry, updating your current Florida estate plan and creating a prenuptial agreement can be very important. We would like to share with you two reasons why.
The primary reason why couples enter into prenuptial agreements, they want to outline how their property will pass when they die if they have children outside the marriage. In most states, if you have a surviving spouse, you cannot leave all of your estate to your children. It does not matter what your will says; the surviving spouse typically can elect to disregard the will and inherit up to one-half of the estate, depending on the state’s laws. A prenuptial agreement governing the distribution of assets can help to ensure that your property passes to your children and surviving spouse in the proportions that you desire rather than the proportions outlined in your state’s laws.
The next reason for a prenuptial agreement, you want to dictate to whom you wish to leave valuable assets acquired prior to the marriage. If you do not have a prenuptial agreement, those assets may become part of your estate that can be inherited by your spouse upon your death. If you want to leave those assets to someone other than your spouse, your will or trust alone may not be enough because of the rights given to spouses under the laws of most states. Therefore, including that information in a prenuptial agreement can help ensure those assets pass in the way in which you intend.
We highly recommend that if you are marrying, or remarrying, you meet and consult with a Florida estate planning attorney who is experienced in these issues. He will be certain that you incorporate a prenuptial agreement into your estate planning.
Our office can help guide a family through long-term care planning for aging parents and loved ones. At David H. Jacoby Elder Law Advocate, P. A., we are focused on providing thorough, ethical, and timely solutions for our clients and their loved ones. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with us.