Premarital Agreements and Estate Planning
With people waiting longer to get married or embarking on a second marriage with a blended family, a Premarital Agreement is often a wise consideration for a number of reasons.
- Setting out the agreement can prevent future misunderstandings.
- They can protect a spouse from the other spouse’s financial and legal liabilities.
- Someone with children from a prior marriage can protect their spouse from misunderstandings with a deceased spouse’s children.
- In Texas, income on separate property is considered community property unless there is a property agreement that states otherwise. This means that if one spouse owns a rental house as separate property prior to marriage, the house itself would be separate property, but the rental income would be community property. A written agreement can change that.
- For retirement assets, it is important to execute a premarital agreement and then (within 30 days after the wedding) a marital agreement confirming the intent, as that is one right that you have to be married to truly disclaim.
If a Texas attorney is drafting a Premarital Agreement or Marital Agreement for someone, he/she can only represent one spouse to the agreement. This makes it very important to find someone who is good at handling these sensitive conversations without creating defensiveness on the part of the other spouse and his/her attorney.
If a couple is not doing a premarital agreement or marital agreement and their interests are completely aligned with each other, an attorney can jointly represent the couple in drafting estate planning documents.