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While you have likely heard of a prenuptial agreement, or “prenup,” you may not fully understand what it can do. Most people, of course, use a prenup to set some financial expectations for marriage. It may outline what assets and income will be considered marital assets and which will remain separate in the event of divorce, or even death. The majority of people, even those more familiar with prenups, however, may not consider the fact that a prenup can be a valuable estate planning tool as well. Let us go over how you can utilize a prenup in your estate plan.

Using a Prenup in Your Estate Plans

Using a Prenup in Your Estate PlansA prenuptial agreement is one made prior to marriage which will likely dictate the distribution of assets in the event of divorce. In the context of estate planning, a prenuptial agreement can specifically designate property as non-marital assets intended for specific beneficiaries as opposed to a surviving spouse. Furthermore, a prenup can play a critical role in circumventing Florida’s elective share.

An elective share is intended to protect a spouse’s right to receive a portion of a deceased spouse’s estate. It does so by allowing a spouse who has been disinherited by a spouse’s estate plan or given a minimal inheritance by a spouse’s estate plan to claim 30 percent of the estate. This claim can be made regardless of the terms set forth in a will. The only way to work around the elective share in Florida is with a Prenuptial agreement or a Post-nuptial agreement. The terms set forth in a prenuptial agreement can lead to a spouse only receiving less than 30 percent of the spouse’s estate.

Why would a spouse want to leave a smaller inheritance to a surviving spouse or disinherit him or her altogether? There can be any number of answers to this question. One particular reason for this may be wanting to leave a specific inheritance to children, especially those from a previous marriage which may need added protection. You see, leaving the bulk of your estate to your spouse and depending on them to provide for your children from a previous marriage places those children at needless financial risk. You can put tools in place, such as a prenup and a trust, to protect them. Also, should you want specific family heirlooms passed to your children as opposed to your spouse, this can also be accomplished through the use of a prenuptial agreement.

Estate Planning Attorney

The possibilities in estate planning are often far more vast than most people realize. There is a multitude of different estate planning tools that you can put in place to help make sure you and your loved ones are not only protected, but that your goals for the future are also fostered and secure. At Verras Law, we listen to the unique needs and goals of each client. Our comprehensive, uniquely crafted estate plans are tailored to meet these needs and goals. A one size fits all approach does not work in estate planning because every person and every family is different. Contact Verras Law today.