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Prenuptial Agreements and Estate Planning: Protecting Your Love and Your Assets

Prenuptial Agreements and Estate Planning

You may have implemented an Estate Plan and a Prenuptial Agreement. However, if they are not in alignment, this can lead to some trouble. It is wise to use both for financial planning. These documents will work together seamlessly and protect your assets if done correctly. They also leave all parties involved with Peace Of Mind, knowing that there are legal protections for whatever life brings. To ensure both documents align with your goals and each other, speak to our South Florida Estate Planning Attorneys.

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What Prenuptial Agreements Cover

A Prenuptial Agreement is made before getting married. They can have some negative connotations about them, but a Prenup benefits and protects both parties. Sometimes, couples do not get a Prenuptial Agreement and regret it later. There is an option for a Postnuptial Agreement that you can craft after marriage. In general, it is a formal agreement between the spouses that allows them to dictate how assets will be distributed and can also outline what happens when one spouse dies. The key reasons to establish a Prenuptial Agreement are:

  • The couple is independently financially secure before the marriage
  • One spouse has debt
  • There is an age difference
  • One spouse has a significant amount more finances than the other one
  • The couple is remarrying
  • You wish to leave your estate and assets to your children from a different marriage

While these are the most common scenarios that can lead to couples establishing a Pre- or Postnuptial Agreement, it is a good option for any married couple. Discuss your options with South Florida Estate Planning Attorneys for guidance on how these agreements impact your estate.

Often people assume Prenuptial Agreements are solely to protect during a divorce, but Prenuptial Agreements can also protect assets and the person’s wishes after they pass. Finances are a significant factor in divorces, and having an Agreement allows the couple to review their financial pictures and futures should the worst happen. In some cases, a Prenup is more powerful than a Will.

Discussing a Prenuptial Agreement during Estate Planning is essential since many state laws can override an Estate Plan. You can protect the following in a prenup:

  • Marital property
  • Separate property
  • Rights of children in the current marriage
  • Right of children from previous marriages
  • Family property
  • Commercial property
  • Property distribution during divorce
  • Property distribution upon death
  • Reinforcement of what is outlined in a Will or Trust

What Estate Planning Covers

Many states have laws that protect spouses from being written out of a Will unless other protections are in place. State law can sometimes override a Will depending on the circumstances. If you are already married, your Estate Planning would include planning for the future. However, you must coordinate your Prenuptial Agreement with your South Florida Estate Planning Attorneys to ensure your plan works with your Prenuptial Agreement. Otherwise, you could find that when the time comes, they contradict each other, and the state will determine how to distribute assets.

If you design your Prenup and Estate Plan to align perfectly, it can benefit everyone involved. The two agreements can coexist but cover different parts of your Estate Planning. Some items you can include in your prenup that can help align it with your Estate Planning include:

  • Death clause: When you provide a death clause in your prenup, it ensures that your assets go to the proper beneficiary outlined in your Will or Trust. 
  • Marital property: Consider what happens to your marital home when a spouse dies. Will your half go to your spouse, your children or another beneficiary? If there is no prenup in conjunction with Estate Planning, it will fall on the state, which often favors the spouse.
  • Assets and debt: Outlining assets and debts is crucial for your prenup and Estate Plan. That can include bank accounts, real estate, personal property and investments. You can determine how to divide your assets and what to do with debts when a divorce or death occurs.

Why Alignment Is Vital For Estate Planning and Prenuptial Agreements

Alignment matters because state laws will determine what happens if there are discrepancies between your Estate Plan and your Prenup. This can involve the person’s final wishes not being met. It can also lead to families fighting about property, finances, etc. The Will or Trust is the primary Estate Planning document, but it can enhance the Will when you include clauses in a Prenup. This provides additional protection in the state. State laws will apply if there is no Estate Plan or Prenuptial Agreement. It is ideal to get both a Pre or Postnuptial Agreement and have an Estate Plan.

Alignment between your Prenuptial Agreement and Estate Plan is beneficial for the following reasons:

  • Clarity and Consistency: When both documents align, they send a clear message to the legal system and the state of your wishes. There are no conflicts when distributing assets or with the state. If the documents do not align, it leaves room for misinterpretation. This can lead to lengthy legal battles and stress on your family.
  • Assets protection: When you align the documents with the help of our South Florida Estate Planning Attorneys, you safeguard your assets. Prenups protect pre-marriage property, and your Estate Plan can preserve marital property. These documents should work in tandem to distribute everything according to your wishes.
  • Avoid family conflict: Legal disputes over inheritance often happen when there is no clear Estate Plan. You may believe that your family would never fight about money, but legal battles ensue when you are gone and your intentions are unclear. It can break up families and hurt relationships forever.
  • Easy execution of your wishes: Ideally, both documents work in tandem to make the execution of your wishes simple. The process is smoother and less confusing. Beneficiaries and executors have a clear roadmap. It minimizes legal strife and delays.

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Call THE South Florida Estate Planning Attorneys – The Siegel Law Group

The Siegel Law Group provides ongoing support and guidance for our clients. We can help with your Estate Planning needs and ensure your Prenuptial Agreement works in tandem with your Estate Plan. Speak to our South Florida Estate Planning Attorneys today.

Call our office at 561-576-6206 to schedule a complimentary consultation, or submit our online contact form to schedule a consultation today. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

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