From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: Does a Prenup Agreement cover what happens if I die during my marriage?
A Prenup Agreement Can Cover What Happens If You Die During the Marriage.
Though it does not have to cover this contingency, a prenup agreement (part of every good estate plan) should certainly include what rights and obligations your fiancé and you wish to cement should one of you die. Without a prenup, your surviving spouse is entitled to claim a portion of your assets. This is true no matter what your Will may say. If you die without a Will, your spouse also has the right to serve as the estate’s “Administrator.” The Administrator has the power to sell assets and determine who receives specific personal property. It is better to spell out what rights the surviving spouse will and will not have. Remember, if the marriage lasts you can agree to update a prenup.
A Prenup Agreement Can Cover What Happens if You Divorce.
A thorough prenuptial agreement addresses not only what happens at your death, but also what happens if you divorce. Typical subjects are alimony and the division of marital property. Discuss these subjects. Now is the time to sort out any disagreements. Also, draft the prenuptial agreement recognizing that life brings changes. Plan to review your prenup regularly. A regular review provides a forum for addressing job changes, the arrival of children, and expenditures of one person’s money on big purchases.
A Marital Property List, Part of Every Prenup Agreement.
The Agreement should also clearly state what property belongs to each spouse and which assets are marital property. Marital property is assets divided at divorce. Separate property is property belonging to one spouse or the other. Separate property is typically not divided at divorce.
Each Marriage is Different, Craft Your Prenup For Your Concerns.
Each relationship is different. It pays to spend some time before the wedding to document your agreement. Though this might seem unromantic, mutual respect is the foundation of a healthy relationship. Being able to speak about finances is a sign that you both respect and care for one another.
If you have any other questions about prenuptial agreements, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. I am happy to brainstorm options for your specific situation.
Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation…It’s All We Do!
Peter Klenk, Esq.