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The Prenuptial Agreement as an Estate Planning Tool?

By August 10, 2013Estate Planning

There are many different tools that estate planning attorneys use to effect clients’ wishes.  Most people are familiar with the notion that healthcare documents, powers of attorney, and HIPPA documents are part of a comprehensive estate plan.  One document many do not consider as part of an estate plan – for various reasons- is a prenuptial, or premarital, agreement.  This is a document that many consider unromantic at best, offensive at worst.  However, in a variety of situations, a prenuptial agreement just makes sense.

For instance, consider the widely publicized divorce actor Dennis Hopper was in the middle of when he passed.   His daughter reportedly inherited $2.85 million from her father’s estate because of the prenuptial agreement that her father and mother put in place before they were married. Apparently, Hopper and his estranged wife Victoria Duffy set up a prenuptial agreement stating that Duffy would receive no support from their daughter’s trust. Before his death, Hopper placed $2.85 Million in property assets and cash within the trust. Therefore, the prenuptial agreement will successfully prevent Duffy from staking a claim in Hopper’s estate. See, e.g.  9-Year-Old Daughter Inherits $3 Mil, TMZ, Sept. 17, 2012

            In any event, there are some situations where this type of agreement is appropriate because it eliminates any question as to how assets are intended to be passed.  Whether or not such an agreement is appropriate in your situation, discussing your wishes and current situation with an attorney is the first step in creating a comprehensive plan.

For more information or to schedule your free consultation, contact our office today at 888.222.1328.

Andrea ClausContributed by MH Phoenix Estate Planning Attorney Andrea Claus

What the Attorneys of Morris Hall Can Do For You:
The attorneys at Morris Hall have 100’s of years of combined experience ensuring that families’ assets are protected from probate, unnecessary taxes, creditors, ex-spouses and Medicaid spend-down.  The attorneys also help those in Arizona and New Mexico to apply for and receive Medicaid assistance and Veterans Benefits.  Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

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