Framing prenuptial agreements as estate planning tools

No one wants to begin a marriage by planning for its potential demise. Even so, couples in Florida who are marrying for a second or subsequent time should take precautions to ensure that their assets are protected from loss in the event of a divorce. Prenuptial agreements can be a difficult subject to broach, but the topic can be made more palatable by discussing the matter in terms of estate planning, rather than divorce.

Consider, for example, a couple comprised of two individuals with children from prior marriages. If the couple weds absent a prenuptial agreement, the assets that each brings into the union can be subject to loss if a death occurs. If one spouse suddenly dies, the other could inherit the full scope of assets. The decision of how to distribute those assets to all of the children involved will fall squarely on the shoulders of the surviving spouse.

Even couples who have only the best intentions are still lacking in protection if a prenup is not part of their estate planning approach. If the couple were involved in a serious car accident, for example, both spouses could die. That would leave assets in flux, and open to a number of probate challenges from all sides. The end result could be a distribution of assets that is far different from what either spouse would have wanted.

The best way to protect against this type of outcome is to create clearly drafted prenuptial agreements and estate planning documents prior to walking down the aisle. Doing so is a means of protecting children from both spouses, and is not indicative of a lack of confidence in the union. When approached from this angle, many Florida couples are able to reach an agreement on the matter, without putting their relationship at risk.   

Source:, “Prenuptial agreements shouldn’t be a deal breaker in remarriages“, Tim Grant, Aug. 14, 2016

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