How to Define Unknown Inheritance For Prenuptial Agreement?

When a couple is considering marriage, it is important to include a prenuptial agreement among the necessary pre-wedding planning activities. Having a prenuptial agreement in place may help protect a couple’s assets from future divorces. As the name suggests, a prenuptial agreement is a legal contract that is entered into before a marriage takes place. It is generally used to outline asset distribution and spousal maintenance in the event of divorce. It also can cover matters such as inheritance and debt division. 

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Although it may seem like an odd question, inheritance can be part of a prenuptial agreement. In some cases, a spouse can receive an inheritance without the consent of his or her spouse. In these circumstances, a prenuptial agreement can be drafted to prevent a divorcing spouse from receiving a share of the inheritance. In these situations, a prenuptial agreement can protect a young couple’s interests. 

In some states, inheritances are considered separate property. In others, they can be treated as marital property. For example, if a spouse received an inheritance from a deceased parent, the money received can be deposited into a joint account or purchased a rental property in the spouse’s name. However, this is not always the case. In some cases, inheritances are commingled with other assets, which could cause them to be divided in a divorce. 

In addition to preventing a spouse from receiving a share of an inheritance, a prenuptial agreement can help protect assets during a divorce. In a number of cases, an inheritance can be used to pay for common expenses such as a mortgage. In these instances, the inheritance can be listed in a prenuptial agreement as being a marital asset. 

A prenuptial agreement can also prevent a spouse from taking an elective share of the other party’s retirement account. As with other prenuptial agreements, a waiver is available for this right. In these circumstances, an estate attorney may suggest using a trust. When drafting a prenuptial agreement, a couple must make sure that it is clear who is to be a trustee of the trust. It is best to avoid ambiguity and to be as specific as possible to prevent a lawsuit. 

While a prenuptial agreement can protect the surviving spouse from a false debt story, it can also prevent a married couple from becoming impoverished. If a prenuptial agreement states that income earned by the spouse is not a part of the marital estate, it can be difficult to prove that the spousal income was actually earned during the marriage. The spouse who received an inheritance is still required to provide proof that the income was intended for the surviving spouse. In some cases, a prenuptial agreement can waive a spouse’s right to alimony. 

Whether or not an inheritance is subject to a prenuptial agreement depends on the particular state of law. While most states require some amount of financial disclosure, some states are more stringent. In some cases, both parties must provide full disclosure. In other cases, a spouse is only required to provide a partial disclosure.