Posted In: Trusts & Estates
By Lori R. Kilpeck on May 18, 2021
Planning a wedding is an exciting time, but important discussions should also be had between the engaged couple to avoid potential problems later. Prenuptial agreements should most often be considered in second marriages (especially when one party has children from a previous relationship), where both parties have significant assets and are financially secure, where there is a disproportionate net worth between the parties, or as an estate planning tool to protect an inheritance.
It is important to understand that both Ohio and federal law grant certain rights to individuals by reason of marriage. A spouse may be entitled to receive certain interests in the property owned by the other spouse in the event of divorce or death. A prenuptial agreement allows each of the parties contemplating marriage to decide their respective property rights by choice and agreement rather than relying on the laws in effect at such time. As a couple discusses their estate plan, the terms of a prenuptial agreement should also be discussed so that the estate plan and prenuptial agreement are consistent with each other.
A summary of the benefits of a prenuptial agreement are as follows:
- Protection of an inheritance, rights, assets and business interests in the event of the termination of marriage or death;
- May reduce or eliminate disputes in the event of divorce or between the surviving spouse and other family members upon death;
- Discussion of potential issues and problems prior to marriage;
- Creditor protection if one party is heavily indebted; and
- Does not prevent gifts or future inclusion in the estate plan to the spouse.
If you have any questions regarding prenuptial agreements, please contact our Trusts and Estates Practice Group.
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