Prenuptial Agreements & Estate Planning

Written by Natalie C. Lashway | nlashway@farr.com
Attorney Natalie C. Lashway Family Law Attorney

Natalie C. Lashway, Attorney
Natalie’s practice focuses on marital & family law, elder law and civil litigation.

It’s often believed that a person only needs a prenuptial agreement if he or she has significant assets.  However, a prenuptial agreement may be important even if that is not the case.  Why is a prenuptial agreement important?  One reason is for estate planning purposes.  A married person is by law entitled to certain rights upon the death of his or her spouse.  Certain rights can only be waived in a prenuptial agreement.  For instance, if Mr. and Mrs. Johnson do not have a prenuptial agreement and Mrs. Johnson leaves her house outright to her children in her will, her husband will still have certain rights to the house.  If Mr. and Mrs. Johnson execute a prenuptial agreement, however, Mr. Johnson can waive his legal rights and allow Mrs. Johnson to devise her property as she wishes. For a brief discussion on prenuptial agreements with regard to estate planning, please see this article.