Back a few decades ago when premarital agreements first entered the public consciousness they carried a certain stigma. Perhaps they made some sense when rich and famous people were getting married after having accumulated massive wealth, but many individuals considered them to be “romance killers.” After all, they contended, is the prospective groom going to get down on one knee and have the engagement ring in one hand and the premarital agreement in the other?
The way that you may feel about premarital agreements on this level is a personal matter, but not all marriages take place between childless people who have never been married before. If you remarry without executing a premarital agreement you may be leaving your children at risk.
Of course you don’t get remarried expecting to get divorced again, but as we all know it happens. You could also pass away unexpectedly. If you don’t assert personal ownership of at least some the assets that you are bringing into the union there are no guarantees that your children will ultimately be provided for in the manner that you see fit.
Though just about everyone is familiar with the concept of the premarital agreement, a lot of people don’t realize that you can enter into post-marital agreements as well. These agreements can play a key role in estate planning.
What if you want to do things with your estate that your spouse disagrees with? Conflicts like this can actually break up marriages. What you can do under such a circumstance would be to execute a post-marital agreement that defines the personal property of each individual in the marriage. The husband and wife could then create separate estate plans and have total control over their own respective portions of what had been community property.
These types of marital agreements serve very useful purposes. If you’re interested in exploring the possibility of executing either a post-marital or a premarital agreement, get in touch with an estate planning attorney to arrange for a consultation.