Prenuptial, Postnuptial and Cohabitation Agreements
Prenuptial, Postnuptial and Cohabitation agreements are one of the most important and most overlooked documents in both life and estate planning. These agreements are not just for the rich or business owners. They are also not just for people who think that their marriage or relationship will not stand the test of time. They are for couples, whether or not contemplating marriage, who want to create a blueprint for their finances.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into by couples contemplating marriage. A postnuptial agreement is a contract entered into by couples who are already married. The agreement determines how the couple’s assets will be divided if they divorce and may set the amount of alimony paid by the high-net-worth partner. These agreements are an effective means of dealing with property and estate issues while avoiding litigation especially for blended families. It may also impact the division of an individual’s property upon death.
Prenuptial agreements are a valuable estate planning tool that can be utilized to: (1) reduce or eliminate the federal estate tax; (2) preserve the Marital Deduction when the first spouse dies; (3) protect the inheritance of the children; (4) provide financially for the surviving spouse; and (5) provide for the division and distribution of estate assets upon the death of either party. They are also an effective means of dealing with issues (and avoiding family divisions and litigation) for blended families and in situations where there is a significant difference in wealth and income between the couple.
For those who do not wish to enter into a marriage, but desire some structure and perhaps some of the protections that the law affords those who marry, cohabitation agreements address financial and personal affairs. Cohabitation agreements are governed by contract law rather than family law.
These agreements can be contracts for almost everything, except children and custody. They can cover tax matters, property and income divisions, alimony, the duties each owes to the other, and more.
Are You Considering a Marital or Cohabitation Agreement?
Retaining Murphy & Downs to draft your agreement can ensure that it meets all requirements of Florida law, and that your interests can be protected. We can assist you with creating the agreement that best suits your needs and situation.