Premarital and post-marital agreements are enforceable by law and should be drafted so that they are very difficult to contest later if the relationship does not work out as hoped, or children, in-laws or others become involved in your financial affairs due to your incapacity.
The Law Office of Babcock & Jensen, PC works with couples who wish to establish the terms of an agreement, either before or after they are married, to establish what happens in the event that one of them dies or they decide to separate or divorce.
Working out the terms of a potential settlement in advance — especially if your joint and separate assets are complex and/or substantial in size — allows you and your spouse or fiancé to decide for yourselves how you wish your assets and debts to be divided. Without such an agreement Virginia law gives a surviving spouse the right to overturn the estate plan of his or her spouse and take a “forced share” of assets from the estate, even if the deceased left a will leaving all of the assets to that person’s children or that person’s favorite charities.
Even though you are working on your agreement as a couple, each of you must have your own attorney to provide you with confidential advice and protect your personal interests . If one lawyer represents both parties to the agreement it will be subject to challenge and possibly being declared invalid or unenforceable. A second major requirement to have a valid agreement is that a full disclosure of each person’s assets, liabilities and income be provided to the other.
A premarital agreement can address a variety of matters, including:
- How finances and assets will be handled during the marriage
- Who gets what assets in the event that you decide to end your relationship
- Support terms, or the waiver of such terms
- Business ownership issues
- Waivers of claims against the other’s estate, or requirements that one or both parties make specific provisions for the other in his or her estate plan
- The status of gifts and inheritances
- Benefits and disability and insurance coverage
Call703-991-0944or contact us online to ask questions or schedule your appointment.