Are You Remarried or Contemplating Remarriage With Children From A Prior Marriage? The Prenuptial and Postnuptial agreements can be the solution to a tricky problem.
By: David M. Frees III
Tiger Woods situation has put the prenuptial agreement back in the news. Following Tiger’s admission of his “transgressions,” many news sources have reported that Tiger and the current Mrs. Woods are renegotiating their prenuptial agreement.
So what does Tiger Wood’s dilemma have to do with prenuptial agreements in Pennsylvania and the use of such agreements in estate planning?
Well, first and foremost, the story reminds me that such premarital agreements are valid and enforceable under Pennsylvania law. And, while the current renegotiation of the pre-nup by Tiger Woods and his wife revolves around divorce, it is important to remember, that prenuptial agreements are a powerful tool for avoiding disputes when you are in or considering are second or third marriage and/or have children from multiple marriages. In short, prenuptial agreements need not focus just on divorce, but can also set forth the parties’ agreements on estate planning so that expensive and destructive family disputes can be avoided.
Many married people want to leave their assets outright to one another but also want to ensure that the children of a prior marriage get some benefit from the estate when the surviving spouse passes. However, if you own all of your assets jointly with your husband or wife, they will transfer automatically to him or her. Likewise, if you have a simple will, and your spouse receives everything, he or she is free to dispose of those assets in any way they desire. And, they can refuse to give any of those assets to your children at death.
So, what are you going to do? If you are remarried or planning to remarry and have children or heirs that you want to protect in addition to your current spouse, then careful planning using a prenuptual agreement or post nup for estate planning purposes and not just to cover the divorce is a major benefit.
The parties agree on a plan in advance. Then, by using the rules of the pre-nip or post-nup and some insurance and/or other trust arrangements you can protect your new spouse and the heirs you want to benefit after the spouse passes.
Prenuptial agreements are not just for divorce. They are also a valuable state planning tool.
Stay tuned for more on prenuptial and postnuptial agreements in estate planning.
David M. Frees III, Esquire is an estate planning, probate, and trust lawyer in Pennsylvania.
The firm’s offices are located in Malvern, Phoenixville, and West Chester
Are you remarried or contemplating remarriage with children or others heirs that you would like too protect? If you need a consultation about a prenuptial or post-nup agreemnt please call Donna Brownback or Denise Fox at 610-933-8069 for an appointment with David M. Frees III. Mention this article to receive additional articles and information on estate planning strategies and tactics for remarriage.