Not only looking at protecting your children at a hypothetical divorce, prenuptial agreements actually offer inheritance protection for children from a prior marriage.
At the mention of a “prenup” many individuals think of celebrities detailing how their assets will be divided if and when they get a divorce. Prenuptial agreements are actually very common, especially in second marriages where there are children from a prior marriage. These agreements focus on divorce, and ensure protection for the inheritance of their children at their death.
Surviving Spouse Rights
Even though spouses may easily agree about the intended inheritance for their children from previous marriage, failing to properly put these wishes into writing could spell disaster. Without a signed agreement a surviving spouse’s legal representative could renounce or elect against the will of the deceased spouse by using the surviving spouse’s statutory allowance. Similarly, if there is no will the surviving spouse’s legal representative could elect to follow the spouse’s statutory one-half share of the decedent’s estate, regardless if there had been a different verbal agreement.
Surviving spouses are given rights under the federal ERISA law for their spouse’s qualified retirement plan or IRA. If a parent desires for a child from a previous marriage to inherit any or all of a retirement account a waiver must be obtained from their current spouse. Retirement accounts often account for the largest asset a spouse would receive and these details should not be overlooked.
Just as you cannot predict the circumstances of your death, it is equally unknown what state your spouse will be in. If your spouse becomes disabled during the period after your death and is not able to express your wishes then the legal representatives will follow the legal guidelines and children from prior marriages can easily be jilted on their inheritance. Working with an experienced lawyer to draft a prenuptial agreement is an easy way to protect the interests of both spouses in protecting the inheritance of children from a prior marriage.
Michigan Legal Solutions
Our experienced attorneys are committed to providing our clients with the guidance and support that they need to resolve their estate and probate issues. With over five decades serving clients in Southeastern Michigan, the attorneys of Michigan Legal Solutions (Seglund Gabe Quinn Elowsky & Pawlak, PLC) have the knowledge and resources to resolve your legal matters.
The laws pertaining to estates, administration of trusts, guardianship and other cases in Probate Court are complex and ever changing. Experienced legal counsel can help navigate the maze of procedures involved in handling a decedent’s estate, guardianship, conservatorship or trust. Contact our team today to set up an initial consultation.
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