Having discussions with a romantic partner about a prenuptial agreement can be tough. The reality is, however, that marrying someone is, in part, a financial commitment. When talking through a possible prenup with your future spouse, it can be helpful to understand how the agreement might affect each person’s estate plan going forward. Even if you and your partner ultimately decide not to get a prenup, talking through the pros and cons can help you start to have important financial conversations that can prepare you for your future together.
What is a Prenup?
A prenup is shorthand for a prenuptial agreement. By definition, a prenup is a document that you sign with your future spouse that lays out how you would like your property to be distributed in the event of a divorce or death. Absent a prenup, a court could divide your and your spouse’s assets in a way that is not in line with either of your preferences. The court could have you pay alimony in the form of a regular payment or a lump sum, or it could determine that you are on the hook for debt that your spouse has taken on during your marriage.
Divorces can be messy and complicated, and signing a prenup before marriage allows you to bypass some of that complication in case of the worst. Importantly, you cannot prenup around child custody or child support, so those factors will always be left somewhat up to chance in the event of a divorce.
How Does a Prenup Play into Estate Planning?
Without a prenup, domestic and probate laws in Texas will determine how your assets are distributed in the event of a divorce or a death. The prenup can redefine what the law considers to be your joint property v. your separate property, and it can waive one spouse’s rights to the other spouse’s property. In essence, the agreement, when executed effectively, can make sure your property is distributed according to your wishes instead of the State’s wishes, no matter what circumstances come your way.
To decide if a prenup is right for your estate planning needs, talk with your estate planning attorney about what next steps might be sensible for you. Importantly, you will want to speak with someone who has knowledge both about probate law and family law, since both intersect to make prenups an important, but often overlooked, topic in Texas estate planning law.
Are You Looking for an Estate Planning Attorney in Texas?
At McCulloch & Miller, PLLC, our priorities are your priorities, because we take a personalized, holistic, client-centered approach to every one of our cases. If you are looking for well-informed estate planning services in Texas, look no further than our team – we are standing by, ready to take your call. For a consultation, call today at 713-597-7176. You can also fill out our online form to have someone reach back out to you as soon as possible.