Marriage is a wonderful thing which is why many people open their hearts to love again (and again) when it ends in divorce. When getting hitched the next time, elder law and estate planning attorney Ann Margaret Carrozza, in her Huffington Post blog, urges you to consider estate planning issues that arise in a second marriage. Included in her list of consideration is a postnuptial agreement - something couples of all stages should consider.
How can a postnuptial agreement help us?
You're already married and you know you want to be together forever, but you know from your previous marriage that sometimes things don't work out. A postnuptial agreement helps you to plan for the end in a manner that saves everyone money and time in the long-run - if it's clearly spelled out on paper what happens if the marriage ends, no one has to take time and money to sort it out in a bitter divorce.
But wait! These agreements are not just about the end. They can also spell out what happens in the middle without thinking about divorce. How will finances be handled during the marriage? Who owns certain property despite the parties' marital status? These are questions a Pennsylvania postnuptial agreement can help couples answer so that they remain on the same page throughout marriage, hopefully lessening the chance that the marriage will end.
How can a postnuptial agreement help in an estate planning context?
According to Ms. Carrozza: "In the context of estate planning, everyone should give some thought to the (depressing prospect) of the surviving spouse remarrying. Where should the couple's assets go upon the subsequent demise of the remarried spouse? The inevitable response is 'to our children'. Without an agreement in place, however, the new spouse will have elective share rights to the estate. Moreover, even if the widow or widower doesn't remarry, he or she may develop a cognitive impairment and be prey to con-artists as well as an assortment of financial liabilities. The post-nup can require the surviving spouse to adhere to the estate plan originally agreed upon."
A Pittsburgh postnuptial agreement lawyer at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates is here to assist you in carefully planning your future. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail. One of the best ways to protect your marriage is to plan for it. A consultation with our office will give you a plan for success. Contact us today to get started.