Craig's Corner - Wealth Planning Insights

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Prenuptial Agreements As Estate Planning Tools

Prenuptial agreements can serve purposes other than protecting your assets in the event of a split from your spouse.  Although it is not their traditional use, prenups can also be very effective estate planning and asset protection tools.  Prenups are always a good idea if you are entering a marriage with a lot of assets.  But, even if you are not wealthy, you should consider using one if you want to preserve your assets to be inherited by someone other than your spouse.

A common situation encountered by estate planning attorneys is a client entering into a second marriage later in life. The client usually has children (whom may be adults at this point) that he or she wants to preserve assets for. Maybe the children have brought these concerns to their parent’s attention.  Either way, someone wants to make sure that the new spouse does not inherit what rightfully belongs to someone else.  They also usually want to make sure that the funds do not end up in the hands of the new spouse’s beneficiaries.  These often contentious situations can be easily quelled by a properly drafted prenuptial agreement stating that the new spouse will not inherit or will inherit only part of the client’s estate upon his or her death.

Another use for a prenup is to protect a spouse's assets from the separate property claims of the other spouse, who may have pre-existing debts or judgments.  The prenup can provide for the segregation of a spouse's assets such that the assets are not commingled into the "marital pot" or be exposed to the other spouse's creditors.

Prenups require full financial disclosure from both parties and no assets can be left out or hidden.  This way, each party knows exactly what they are entering into from the start.  These agreements can be as broad or as narrow as you desire but should be tailored to your specific situation.  For example, if you want the property that you own before marrying and the property that you earn while married to be considered yours in the event of a divorce or your death, this should be noted in the prenup, especially if you live in a community property state such as Nevada or California.  This will ensure that your assets are distributed accordingly.

If you are getting married and have concerns about how this will affect your estate, call Las Vegas, Nevada attorney Craig Stone at (877)905-0890 for a consultation today.

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S. Craig Stone II of Stone Law Offices, Ltd. serves clients throughout Clark County, Southern NV, Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, North Las Vegas, Summerlin, Carson City, Reno, Washoe County, and Nye County. Also serving clients with asset protection nationwide.

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