The Union of Prenups and Estate Planning

Numerous people fear that drafting a prenup implies that they are admitting their marriage will end before it has actually even started. The reality is (and please forgive me being a trifle morbid right here) that all marital relationships end– if not in divorce, then in death. For this reason, the California state legislature (and every other state in the Union for that matter) has helpfully crafted a default (read “generic”) plan for you in case you die without an estate strategy, or divorce without a prenup. So the question you must actually be asking yourself, is not whether a prenup implies your marital relationship will end, however whether the government’s universal plan is the right plan for you.

A prenup, like an estate plan, is nothing but more than a document allowing you to take control over your property. A lot of people think they are better suited to decide exactly how their property should pass at death than the government, and the exact same reasoning often applies to divorce. Many couples discover that defining their expectations before marital relationship lessen conflicts later.

If you have a prenup or are preparing to have one, then you have actually currently determined that the cookie-cutter government strategy is wrong for you and your family. Opportunities are that the government plan for exactly how your home must be divided at death will not fulfill your requirements either.

So with those points of the way, let’s turn on the meat of this uploading: the intersection of the two documents.

It is essential for wedded couples and signed up residential partners to make sure that their estate strategies and their premarital agreements are not in conflict. It is not unusual for estate planning lawyers who do not have experience with family law to directly concentrate on concerns such as reducing “death taxes” at the exclusion of other previous purposes of their clients. A common mistake is for an estate planning lawyer to re-title property for the sake of the estate plan, but in contravention of the premarital arrangement. This can have the unfortunate result of negating the premarital agreement entirely, and you can think of the negative impact that may have.

Another instance is that many clients on a second marital relationship wish to guarantee that their property will pass to their children from the first marriage, and not to the new partner’s family. This is feasible, but the estate plan and the prenup need to work in conjuction with one another to be effective. One document could not do the task if the other is not in agreement.

For these reasons, it is extremely crucial that your attorney have an understanding of both estate planning and family law. The law around property varies greatly relying on the context and scenarios. Failure to have an attorney evaluate your one-of-a-kind situation from a worldwide viewpoint can have major unexpected and extremely costly repercussions.

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