Hyden, Miron & Foster, PLLC Law Blog

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Why a Prenup Can Be a Valuable Estate Planning Tool

Most people consider a prenup to be something that could be a part of planning for an impending marriage. Other times, people may think that a prenup is something you do when you plan for a divorce before the marriage has even occurred. Most people, however, would not think about a prenup as an estate planning tool. The trust is, however, that putting a prenup in place can be a valuable estate planning move for a number of reasons. Here, we will discuss how prenups could help you fortify your estate plans.

Why a Prenup Can Be a Valuable Estate Planning Tool

Many who may be familiar with a prenuptial agreement associate it as a way to protect assets should divorce occur. While this may be the more prominent use of a prenuptial agreement, it is far from the only reason to put one in place. A prenuptial agreement can distinguish which property will be considered marital and which will be considered separate not just in the event of divorce, but in the event of death as well.

The distinctions made in a prenup can be especially helpful for protecting your children from a previous marriage. In fact, you can specify which assets should be considered separate and which of these separate assets should go to your children. This can be important for things such as family heirlooms you want to ensure go to a specific child or other family members. Without a prenuptial agreement, dividing your estate can be that much more complicated and there is the risk that the distribution will not be made according to your wishes.

One reason a prenup can be critical in ensuring certain assets go to your children is the fact that surviving spouses have certain legal rights to the estate of his or her spouse. In fact, many states prevent a spouse from being disinherited or receiving less than a certain percentage of a spouse’s estate despite what a will might direct. As a married couple, your marital estate is considered to be jointly owned and, therefore, your spouse has the legal right to an elective share of your estate. Because of this entitlement, your children could be left with much less than you planned. With a prenup, you can direct which assets fall outside of the marital estate and, thus outside of any elective share claimed by your surviving spouse.

A properly drafted prenuptial agreement can help streamline the estate administration process and protect the interests of your children from a previous marriage. Without such a prenup in place, you risk your final wishes for your family not being honored. So, consider a prenuptial agreement. It can have more benefits than you may have initially considered.

Estate Planning Attorneys

At Hyden, Miron & Foster, we are committed to utilizing a wide range of legal tools to help ensure that our clients have a strong, comprehensive estate plan in place that serves their goals for themselves and their loved ones. Contact us today.

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