The interplay of estate planning and prenuptial agreements

Those in California who engage in estate planning usually do so for the sole purpose of ensuring that their hard-earned assets are protected and preserved for those who they identify as their heirs and beneficiaries. As we have discussed at length on this blog, there are a number of ways to ensure that one's estate plan is thorough, legally valid and created in a way that allows for distribution of assets in accordance with one's wishes.

However, there are certain circumstances that can threaten an estate plan as initially drafted. One of these scenarios is when an adult child decides to get married. While a marriage may be something to celebrate, it does mean that divorce could loom in the future. Therefore, some parents try to talk their children into entering into prenuptial agreements.

This can be an uncomfortable discussion to have, though, and many times children fail to abide by their parents' wishes. This does not end one's ability to prevent the issues that may arise in the event of an adult child's divorce. One option estate planners have is to create prenuptial agreement provisions in their estate planning documents. These can significantly reduce or eliminate the number of assets that are distributed to an adult child who has chosen not to enter into a prenuptial agreement.

Estate planning can be incredibly nuanced and difficult. The good news, though, is that estate planning allows one to customize their approach, tailoring their estate distribution in a way that conforms to their unique set of circumstances. However, because there may be many details and legal documents involved, it is important to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.

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