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Importance of a prenuptial agreement for second marriages

When a person in Massachusetts is preparing to remarry, it is often a very good idea to insist on a prenuptial agreement. In the event that there are children from a previous relationship, the importance of a prenuptial agreement is even more pronounced.

People generally think prenuptial agreements are only important in the event of a later divorce. A good and detailed prenuptial agreement, however, may also be used to prevent a new spouse from laying claim to certain assets in the event the other one dies. In this way, the prenuptial agreement may be used, together with other estate documents, to ensure certain assets go to intended beneficiaries, such as the decedent's children from a previous marriage.

The recent battle between Robin Williams' third wife and his children from a previous marriage is illustrative. Although Mr. Williams did have a prenuptial agreement and trusts in place to pass his assets on, he failed to include certain items of personal property in the documents, including some watches. It is over those few items that the spouse and his children are now litigating. This demonstrates the importance of a carefully drafted prenuptial agreement to handle any disputes over property that might arise in the event of death.

A prenuptial agreement is very important to protect both the person who is getting married as well as his or her children's interests as well. A person who has already married may want to consider writing a postnuptial agreement as well. It is important to draft such an agreement with as much detail as possible. It is also important that people understand what they are signing before they do.

Source: CNBC, "Remarrying? Shower kids with love, and a good prenup", Constance Gustke, Feb. 12, 2015

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