The importance of a prenuptial agreement


Chrissy: Listener is getting married and they want to know from you about a prenuptial agreement.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Okay, he is saying that in fact that he’s got some wealth assets that he’s bringing into the marriage. Prenuptial agreement, absolutely positively. I recommend it for anybody that’s getting married later in life where they’ve accumulated wealth on their own, especially if they’ve got children from different marriages. Prenuptial agreements, because what people don’t understand is that by the very fact of being married here in the state of Florida, your spouse automatically has a right to inherit some of your wealth. You may pass away with a will that says, “When I die, everything goes to my kids,” and yet your wife could step in and say, “I don’t care what his will says, I want 30% of everything,” that’s the Florida elective share law.

With this prenuptial agreement, you’re simply waving a right to receive a portion of each other’s estate if you pass away. If you do a prenuptial agreement and you still want to leave your spouse something via a will or trust, you are welcome to but you’re no longer obligated to under Florida law if you use as prenuptial agreement. I highly recommend it.

Chrissy: We are always recommending it to people that come to us either in person or talk to us on the phone exactly like you said Tom where whatever stage of life that they are getting married for a second time or more and again, exactly as you said very important because also many people do not realize or understand about elective share, do not realize about that automatic 30%. It’s interesting, another area where I know we get asked this question a lot is the parents of somebody that is going to -- that happens a lot too. It’s interesting because I find that often times I’m trying to help educate the parents and then they’re in turn passing it on to their children who are going to be getting remarried and that because again it’s the same thing, they are concerned if they pass something on to their child about that there's the new spouse.

Attorney Tom Olsen: If you’re going to do a prenuptial, which we are highly recommending to you, do not do it the day before your wedding or the week before your wedding. You want to do it months before your wedding. When you are approaching your soon to be spouse and saying prenups agreement, make sure you explain to it that it is not a one sided document. Whatever it does for him it does for her. It is equally just simply waiving this right to elective share.

By the way, if you're already married or you know somebody who already is married, they did not do a prenuptial agreement, you can accomplish the same thing through a post-nuptial agreement.

Chrissy: And the fact that they both need to use a different attorney.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Yes. The attorney can only represent one of the parties, not both. Hey folks, my name is Tom Olsen. The name of the show is Olsen on Law. You're listening to News 965.