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Eliminate confusion with a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement

When it comes to couples who bring both separate property and assets into a marriage as well as children from a previous relationship how do you go about protecting each member of your extended family in the event of a death or divorce? Northern Georgia residents might be interested in a recent column that answered a reader’s question on the need for estate planning and a prenuptial agreement in just such circumstances.

When it comes to second marriages, often times each spouse brings hard-earned assets and investments, such as retirement savings and vacation properties, into the new marriage. When children are also involved, things can get complicated in a hurry.

In one scenario a reader with three children from a previous marriage is wondering what happens to the property she owned prior to her marriage if she should pass away. Since she never put her new husband’s name on the property’s deed, and her will lists her children as the only beneficiaries, would her husband receive a share of the house upon her death?

The answer depends on the laws in the state in which she lives. In some states the husband could be entitled to an equal portion of her estate but with a will, that complicates it some. When it comes to second marriages it is always a good idea to enter into a prenuptial agreement, especially when one or both spouses bring previously acquired assets into the marriage.

Consulting a qualified attorney who understands both estate planning and prenuptial contract agreements would be a big benefit to both your spouse and your children. It could eliminate much of your confusion that surrounds how the law handles extended families and probate administration requirements in your state.

Source: News-Sentinel.com, “Prenup can eliminate a lot of confusion,” Bruce Williams, Mar. 13, 2012