Adding A Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement To An Estate Plan

Many people who are looking to tie the knot believe that mentioning a prenuptial agreement eliminates the romance. However, like any business relationship, a prenuptial or even a postnuptial agreement provide a range of benefits and security to both parties involved in the marriage.

Prenuptial agreement is a contract that is entered into between two parties prior to marriage. A postnuptial agreement is entered into after a legal marriage has already begun. Both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements allow the parties to plan for a variety of issues in the event of death or divorce of one spouse. Some individuals believe that a prenuptial agreement is unnecessary if both parties have comparable paying jobs, assets, and no prospect of inheritance. However, it is always beneficial to prepare early on for any incidents that may arise between spouses regardless of financial worth. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) conducted a study that showed a third of marriages will result in divorce within ten years, which is why prenuptial agreements are especially important in the following situations:

  • A significant inheritance
  • Obtaining higher education pre or post marriage
  • One spouse owns a business or both spouses share a business
  • When one spouse financially supports a loved one such as a parent or child
  • Having assets prior to marriage
  • Having children prior to a current marriage
  • Disparity in net worth or wealth

A prenuptial agreement provides a detailed framework and financial arrangements in the event that death or divorce may occur. The agreement addresses the division of property, debt, maintenance, and other financial arrangements. Both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements help mitigate conflict between parties because they are negotiated during amicable times. Additionally, it decreases costs that may be incurred if a divorce should arise. Both parties are provided the opportunity to negotiate a fair arrangement and be given the comfort of having a safety net in case of conflict or death.

Prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement can prevent unnecessary conflict and preserve the resources of the marital estate from being depleted by litigation costs incurred because of divorce or death of a spouse. A prenuptial agreement also can provide property and spousal maintenance arrangements that are acceptable enough to both parties that they could be agreed to before marriage.

When executing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it is important that individuals also consult an experienced estate planning lawyer who can oversee the process and will help to ensure that it is drafted in accordance with New Jersey State law. The lawyers at Hunziker, Jones, & Sweeney P.A. have experience representing clients in various matters, including estate planning and family law. The firm’s attorneys are trusted by their clients to handle each legal matter with diligence and compassion. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our New Jersey estate planning law firm at (973) 256-0456.

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