Pre and Postnuptial Agreements
As a family law practitioner since 1983 I can anticipate the issues a couple may have if they divorce in the future. A prenuptial, premarital agreement or postnuptial agreement plan for the possibility of a divorce or a death of either party during the marriage and it can define how the couple will handle their finances during the marriage. It helps a couple decide what is fair when they are happy with each other rather than when they are in the throws of a divorce. Couples should consider a prenuptial agreement when they are desiring to protect pre marital or family assets or in second marriages in order to protect their estate for children of a prior marriage. Another reason to consider a prenuptial agreement is if one spouse is very wealthy and wants to limit their exposure in a divorce or death situation while still desiring to be fair. Nuptial agreements result in settlement without litigation and thus save attorney fees and the stress of litigation.
Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts
Planning protects your family. A will or a trust is a document which disperses your property with your direction upon your death. A Trust can also maintain control in a person you appoint (a trustee) to manage your assets on behalf of a beneficiary after you die. A Durable Power of Attorney is a document which gives control of you or your assets if and when you desire it to or in the event of your incapacity. If you do not have a Durable Power of Attorney and you become incapacitated your family will have to file a Guardianship action with the Court. A guardianship proceeding is very expensive and can be demeaning. It should be avoided. Therefore a Durable Power of Attorney is very important to have. A Living Will is your stated desire about whether to terminate life in an end stage condition. A living will makes sure that your family knows your desires and how you want to be treated so that your loved ones do not have to make this decision on their own.