Kansas Estate Planning Attorney Says Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements Can Be Valuable Estate Planning Tool
Many people dismiss prenuptial agreements as something only wealthy people need or as a plan for divorce. Unfortunately, people who dismiss prenuptial agreements as something they don’t want or need could be missing out on a valuable estate planning tool.
Whether you’re looking towards your first marriage or subsequent marriage, a prenuptial agreement can give you and your future spouse more options when it comes to ownership and rights to property and other assets. Often, marriage means the merging of everything into collective ownership. With the high divorce rate and the increase in the average age of marriage, keeping an open mind could help you and your future spouse reduce the amount of financial stress in your relationship.
When spouses-to-be enter into a prenuptial agreement, they might decide to commingle some of their assets, such as their regular income, while keeping other things separate. In choosing to keep some items and assets as owned by one spouse or the other, the spouses are then able to engage in estate planning that is both valid according to law and in compliance with their wishes.
For example, if one spouse brings assets into the marriage that are held by a family business, they might fear that those assets and in some cases the business could be at risk of leaving the family in the event of a divorce or the death of a spouse. If the spouses agree to keep ownership of those assets in the name of the spouse whose family owns them, that spouse is free to bequeath them exclusively to their children or other family members as they wish, instead of to their spouse. Another example is the investment account that survived a divorce. If continued exclusive ownership of that account by the spouse who brings it into the marriage gets formalized in a prenuptial agreement, the owner of the account can rest assured that neither death nor divorce will keep that account away from their named beneficiaries, which in many cases are their children. It’s also somewhat common for one or both spouses to own real estate before they get married. A prenuptial agreement can help each spouse and their heirs retain ownership and control of real estate that gets brought into the marriage.
When people who have had past financial troubles want to tie the knot, a prenuptial agreement can help them protect each other and each others’ heirs from their past mistakes. The peace of mind that comes from knowing that creditors cannot go after you or your estate because of your spouse’s past debt can go a long way towards enabling the two of you to focus on building good financial habits together. Whether one or both spouses have past debts, a prenuptial agreement can ease financial tension dramatically.
If you’re already married and you and your spouse agree that you’d like to engage in estate planning that would divide your assets differently than the state’s laws would divide it, you might be able to accomplish your estate planning goals through a postnuptial agreement.
Free Estate Planning Consultation
If you have questions about whether a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement should be part of your estate plan, call the law office of J. Joseph Weber, P.A. today, at 316-265-7802 for an initial consultation. Our location in Wichita and we offer weekend or evening hours by appointment.