If you are getting married, there are so many details you will need to consider. Starting a new life with someone involves a ton of new paperwork–from changing names, combining insurances and sharing bank accounts, two people truly become one after a wedding. In the midst of all the excitement, it may seem unromantic to discuss your estate plan before getting married, but a married couple should consider all possible futures that exist for them as a couple.
Unfortunately, it is not enough to just discuss your wishes and preferences after you pass away. Without an estate plan, you run the risk of settling for a future in which your assets are not distributed as you wish. If you work with a lawyer before you exchange your vows, it’s easier to know what each partner wishes for the future. But above all, you should consider a prenuptial agreement before tying the knot, as it can be a fundamental aspect of a strong estate plan.
Why Should I Consider A Prenuptial Agreement Before Getting Married?
Have you considered a prenuptial agreement? If you have not, you may change your mind after hearing this story:
John and Mary, two single adults, both found love in each other in their later years in life. They were both in their late seventies when they met, and soon decided to make the most of their time and tie the knot. Both John and Mary had their own children, who were adults, and young grandchildren. Swept up in the moment, the two never considered a prenuptial agreement, and never got around to changing their estate plans after the wedding. But when Mary passed away suddenly, her surviving spouse John became the default beneficiary to her entire life’s savings and all her assets. John now had free license to do whatever he pleased with Mary’s money. Mary’s children and grandchildren fought back, but under state and federal law, John had every right to the money. Since Mary and John never filed a prenuptial agreement, and never amended their estate plans to include their families after marriage, John was able to keep any money he wanted–and sadly did not share any with Mary’s children and extended family.
The best way to avoid a situation like this is to be proactive about estate planning. Adding a prenuptial agreement is a great idea, but until you meet with an estate planning attorney, you may never know what you need to create a strong plan for past your lifetime. At Thomas Walters, our law firm can help you mitigate the risk of your hard-earned money getting into the wrong hands after you pass away.
What Does A Prenuptial Agreement Accomplish?
A prenuptial agreement, also known as antenuptial agreement, premarital agreement, or prenup, is a contract entered into prior to marriage setting the terms for separation. In general, provisions that tend to unreasonably encourage divorce or separation are unenforceable on grounds of public policy.
As mentioned previously, a prenuptial agreement is crucial from an estate planning point of view. Review the prenuptial agreement in detail to make sure both parties agree, that no one feels pressured to sign, and that the agreement is fair in general. In some cases, a lawyer may even advise that both spouses have two separate lawyers to advise in their respective best interests.
In addition to the prenuptial agreement, there are other important elements on an estate plan that a married couple should consider. Some estate planning lawyers will recommend setting up a trust, powers of attorney and a health care proxy. The only way to truly know what estate planning elements to consider is to contact a Raleigh estate planning lawyer.
At Thomas Walters, we offer a free, no-obligation estate planning consultation to help you and your spouse get a better idea of estate planning. With our help, we can create a sound estate plan that keeps your best interest in mind at all times.
Schedule A Free Estate Planning Consultation With A Raleigh Estate Planning Attorney
At Thomas Walters, we take great pride in offering comprehensive estate planning services to those in the Raleigh area. Our experienced, hard-working estate planning attorneys can represent you and guide you through the process so that your best interests are taken care of at all times. Getting married is an exciting time for so many reasons, but it’s important to take a big step back and consider all the options you have for financial security in the future.
Schedule your free, no-obligation estate planning consultation with Thomas Walters today.