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Prenuptial agreements and inheritances

38197388_S.jpgMissouri parents who want to safeguard their adult children's inheritance for them should begin by having open conversations with them about their options. This can include prenuptial agreements.

A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract that a couple completes before they get married and that classifies assets as either marital or separately owned if the marriage ends. It is a tool that can preserve a child's inheritance if he or she were to divorce. However, it requires that both parties enter the agreement voluntarily and that they both offer full financial disclosure.

One of the benefits of a prenup is that it allows individuals to keep their premarital assets as nonmarital property, removing the need to go to court to prove which assets was theirs before their marriage. Assets such as investments, business properties, pensions and future appreciation and income can all be specified as nonmarital property.

Using a prenup also requires that both parties are upfront about their premarital debt. They can use the document to eliminate any responsibility they would have to pay for the debt of their future spouse. The prenup can also dictate which debts can be paid from separate personal assets rather than marital assets. If both parties of a couple own their own business, they can use the prenup to ensure that the businesses and any income that is earned from the businesses will continue to be separate property if the marriage ends. A prenup can also include provisions specifying terms for property division and spousal support.

A family law attorney can provide a variety of services for clients regarding issues that may have to be addressed in family court. This includes drafting and reviewing prenuptial agreement terms. The attorney may also advocate on behalf of clients who are seeking post-divorce order modifications.

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