What’s in a Prenuptial Agreement?
Prenuptial agreements can be a blessing for married couples, as they can provide a unique division of property upon the death of one of the spouses. Whether you’re looking to protect assets from divorce or simply want to make sure that your surviving spouse is left with something, prenuptial agreements can make your dreams a reality. However, it’s important to understand what’s in your agreement and to discuss it with an attorney before signing it.
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Most states have surviving spouse laws, which will give your surviving spouse a right to your earned property during your lifetime. These are also called community property laws. Those who are not married will receive only a percentage of your inheritance, usually around half. Some states, like New York, have laws that allow a surviving spouse to elect against her or his deceased spouse’s estate.
In most states, an elective share is the minimum amount of money that a surviving spouse will receive. The size of the elective share varies, depending on the state, the length of the marriage, and whether or not there are children. It can be one-third of your spouse’s estate or up to a half, though that’s not always the case.
A prenuptial agreement can also include a lot more than just financial details. For example, it can detail spousal maintenance rights, behavior expectations, and even your right to live in your spouse’s home. While this may be a cliche, it’s important to understand what’s written in a prenup. Not every financial detail will be honored in court.
The best way to find out what your specific state’s law entails is to consult an experienced attorney. He or she can help you choose a prenuptial agreement that’s tailored to your needs. They can also help you devise a comprehensive estate plan that includes all of the above and more. This includes naming a power of attorney, securing your family’s future with a last will and testament, and arranging for the final arrangements.
Although prenuptial agreements are an excellent way to ensure that your assets will remain intact when you die, they can also be an expensive waste of time. Having an attorney negotiate difficult topics can be the difference between a successful and unsatisfactory deal. Keeping in touch with your attorney is also an essential step, as it’s often necessary to change a prenuptial agreement in the event of divorce.
If you’re interested in finding out more about prenuptial agreements, call Twomey, Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin & Quartararararo to schedule a consultation. You can also check out their website for information on estate planning and prenuptial agreements.
Taking the time to craft an effective estate plan will help you and your family, as well as your heirs, in the event of your passing. By having a lawyer create an efficient and well thought out estate plan, you can rest assured that your family will be taken care of.
Of course, it’s wise to keep in mind that any prenuptial agreement is merely the tip of the iceberg. Your surviving spouse will need a good attorney to fully understand and comply with your prenuptial agreement.