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A prenuptial agreement can be part of your estate plan

prenup.pngAs you prepare to get married, you will be making plans for everything from wedding cake flavors to honeymoon locations. In addition to these plans, you will find it beneficial to also consider any necessary adjustments to your estate plan. If you do not have a will or other important documents already drafted, an impending marriage is a good occasion to put your financial and estate-related affairs in order.

As part of the estate-planning process, you will find it useful to consider the benefits of a prenuptial agreement. This document does not mean you are planning for your marriage to eventually end in divorce, but rather, allows you to control what happens in case of a contingency. Like a will or trust, it can eliminate unnecessary complications in case the unexpected happens.

What should be included in my prenup?

The objective of any prenuptial agreement is to outline how a Florida couple wants their marital property divided in case of a divorce. However, these agreements can be as detailed or as specific as needed, depending on your assets, financial situation and legal objectives. Consider the following as you think about your prenup:

  • Debts that one or both spouses will bring into the marriage
  • Identification of all separate property
  • The possibility of a future inheritance
  • Any family-owned or closely held small businesses
  • Student loan debt accumulated over the course of the marriage
  • Spousal support

Marital property includes any money, assets or debts accumulated during your marriage. Through the terms of your prenuptial agreement, you can provide instructions for the distribution of all marital property. By making the effort to have a prenuptial agreement, you could avoid litigation and disputes over property division in case of a divorce, which in turn could save you both time and money.

Why don't more couples have prenuptial agreements?

Even people who take care to have a thoughtful, up-to-date estate plan in order may not consider how they could benefit from a prenuptial agreement as part of their plan. It may seem like an unpleasant thought to consider what will happen in a divorce before you even get married, and many people think that it could bring either bad luck or planning for the marriage to fail. 

On the contrary, a prenuptial agreement can lead to important discussions about finances and each person's philosophy about money before the marriage even begins. This could help avoid money-related conflict and can give both individuals peace of mind regarding the future as they look forward to their lives together.

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