Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Individuals can use prenuptial agreements as an effective estate planning device. The number of individuals who divorce and remarry is increasing, and without a prenuptial agreement, the new spouses’ property rights may trump an individual’s existing estate plan. Prenuptial agreements can also benefit children from a previous marriage, ensuring that the new spouses’ property rights do not infringe on their own.
According to Elder Law Answers, in order for an individual to create a valid prenuptial agreement, the following factors must be met:
- The agreement must be in writing and signed by both spouses.
- A spouse cannot pressure the other spouse into signing the agreement.
- Each spouse must be given time to and actually read through and understand the agreement.
- Neither spouse can lie or omit information regarding finances.
- The agreement may not include any invalid agreements or grossly unfair provisions.
- Some states require that each spouse seek the advice of separate counsel.
- Some states also allow for post-nuptial agreements (a marriage agreement signed after the marriage) as a similar property protecting device.
Prenuptial Agreements Can Be an Estate Planning Tool, Elder Law Answers, Jun. 6, 2011.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (WealthCounsel) for bringing this article to my attention.