Pre-Nuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into by two individuals before they marry. Prenuptial agreements address matters such as division of property in the event of divorce, spousal support in the event of a divorce, and inheritance rights.

In New York State, spouses have legal rights to a portion of their spouse’s estate (the so-called “right of election”), regardless of what a will or other estate planning documents say. A prenuptial agreement can waive these rights, thus giving each spouse the right to determine how their assets are distributed upon death. This is often a consideration in estate planning for blended families where individuals seek to protect inheritances for children from prior relationships.

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