Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) April 11, 2016 – The majority of people who remarry possess little or no knowledge about the legal and estate planning concerns that are relevant to a new marriage.
They do not plan, and as a result, there can be much conflict and disorder in later years. Most individuals do not comprehend that marriage grants the new spouse considerable rights. In addition, they are unfamiliar with spousal elective shares, and have not thought about the effects of the remarriage after their death.
People who are contemplating remarriage are advised to consult an attorney in order to fully comprehend their rights and the ways in which to restrict those rights. It is also recommended that they sign a prenuptial agreement, especially if they own a home or a business that they wish to leave to their heirs from a previous marriage. A prenuptial agreement is also advisable if each spouse wishes to keep the right to bequeath their investments and other assets to their heirs. A mere understanding or verbal agreement will not create a legally binding contract. It is imperative that each spouse obtain signed waivers that adhere to legal requirements.
“Individuals are encouraged to thoroughly grasp the legal consequences of remarriage and to plan accordingly so as to protect the inheritance of their beneficiaries from a previous marriage,” said Lisa McDevitt, a prominent Vienna, Virginia estate planning attorney.
Some people may be of the opinion that they do not possess sufficient assets to sign a prenuptial agreement. However, such an agreement can be advantageous at nearly every level of wealth. If a new spouse dies in the absence of a prenuptial agreement, the surviving spouse will inherit the spousal right of election, which is the amount permitted under state law. Thus, even if the deceased spouse bequeaths property to children from a previous marriage, the bequest may be invalid without the other spouse having waived the spousal right of election, which is frequently performed simultaneously with a prenuptial agreement.
Lisa Lane McDevitt
2155 Bonaventure Drive
Vienna, VA 22181