Burbank Prenuptial Attorney
“Failing to plan is planning to FAIL.” - Ben Franklin
California Prenuptial & Separate Property Agreements
"It is always important to establish the ground rules as you enter into a marriage, a civil union or basic cohabitation agreements, especially if you enter the relationship with separate assets. The LA Law Estate Planning Lawyers offer personalized Estate Planning for Singles, Couples, Same Sex Couples, and GLBT couples before or during the time that they are living together as a couple. It is important for you to take control of your assets and make your life with another person understood before you take the plunge!"
What is a Prenup or Postnup Agreement?
Wikipedia defines a prenuptial agreement, antenuptial agreement, or premarital agreement, commonly abbreviated to prenup or prenupt, as a contract entered into prior to marriage, civil union or any other agreement prior to the main agreement by the people intending to marry or contract with each other. The content of a prenuptial agreement can vary widely, but commonly includes provisions for division of property and division of property in the event of divorce or breakup of marriage. They may also include terms for the forfeiture of assets as a result of divorce on the grounds of adultery; further conditions of guardianship may be included as well.
Why Do I Need a Prenup or Postnup Agreement?
In today's society, it is critical that you and your partner in life be prepared for your life together and defines your financial affairs in case the relationship does not work out. This includes, determining which assets should be jointly owned and which assets should remain separate property. Too many times people make the mistake of thinking only the "RICH PEOPLE" need asset protection or estate planning. In fact, if you have even a modest positive net worth, you should look into protecting your assets, especially before moving into what you consider a life time relationship. Prenup or Postnup Asset Protection Planning is the legal way to protect your hard earned assets in case of a failed relationship.
LA Law Asset Protection Attorneys can help you legally establish the legally agreed ownership percentages of assets like the following:
• Primary Residence
• Other Real Estate Investments
• Retirement Accounts
• Savings or Valuable Collections
• Automobiles and other Vehicles
• Salary Income
• Business Ownership
• Inheritance Assets or expected Inheritance Assets
• Debts before Marriage or Civil Unions
Best Advice- Seek Experienced Legal Counsel!
If you are over 18 years old and do not have legal documents in order, it advised to seek experienced legal counsel, especially if you are planning a marriage, civil union or living together as a couple!
Same Sex Couples need to pay special attention to getting legal advice to protect your rights as a couple!
The LA Law Estate Planning Attorneys have the knowledge to make this as easy as possible and ready to help you understand your options and how to protect yourself. Our estate planning lawyers prepare custom estate plans that address you and your particular circumstances and long term goals.
(Before Marriage or Relationship)
A prenuptial agreement (also called a premarital or ante nuptial agreement) is a contract between two people who intend to marry and to be effective upon marriage. It can address how you will divide your property and responsibilities:
• During the Marriage
• At the Death of Either Spouse
• At their Divorce
Basically, you can use the prenuptial agreement to dictate everything from how the monthly bills will get paid to what religious institutions your children will attend. However, one of the main reasons that you might want a prenuptial agreement is to insure that what is yours before the marriage remains yours if the marriage ends.
Most often, a prenuptial agreement is used by people who are getting married for the second or third time or in a situation where one person has substantially more income or assets than the other person coming into the marriage. However, in light of the increased divorce rate in this country, many people are using prenuptial agreements as a way of decreasing the emotional and financial toll of divorce by specifying in advance how their marital property will be divided.
The LA Law Asset Protection Attorneys will be able help you decide what is right for your situation and document the specifics in a prenuptial agreement before you get married or set up a couple's relationship.
Separate Property Agreements
(During Marriage or Relationship)
LA Law Asset Protection Attorneys can help you create Separate Property Agreements are documents that list those assets which, by definition, are the separate property of each spouse. This includes any property that was owned by the individual prior to the marriage, or any gifts, inheritances or awards from lawsuits. If a Living Trust is used, the list of separate property is attached to, and becomes an integral part of, the Trust. Since a Trust is simply a contract between two parties, if the parties agree to identify certain assets as separate property, the assets are so identified.
The effect of a Separate Property Agreement is that separate property assets placed in the Trust will retain their characteristic as separate property, even though they will take on the name of the Trust. This means that the separately belonging to each spouse may be brought together for the enjoyment of both spouses. Upon the death of one spouse, the assets remain in the Trust to provide for the surviving spouse. However, on the death of the surviving spouse, the separate property will go to the heirs specified by the spouse who owned the property.
Assets held as separate property are often commingled as the marriage progresses. For instance, you may enter into marriage and then receive an inheritance of stock, which you later decide to invest in your home for expansion or upgrading. Before you know it, this asset has become a part of the marriage property. However, with Separate Property Agreements included as part of your Living Trust that property may easily be identified as separate property and be treated as such.
Separate Property Agreements are especially beneficial if a husband and wife have each been married before, and both have children by their former marriages. When these two people married, they brought their previously acquired assets together so that together they might enjoy a higher standard of living. The couple desires that, upon the death of one of them, the surviving spouse should continue to enjoy that same standard of living. However, upon the death of the surviving spouse, the couple wants his or her share of the estate to pass on to the children of his or her former marriage.
(During Marriageor Relationship)
A postnuptial agreement is a voluntary marriage contract between spouses that is created after their wedding. This agreement addresses the same issues as the Pre-Nupital Agreements.
(Living Together Without A Legal Marriage for both SAME SEX & OPPOSITE SEX Relationships)
A Cohabitation Agreement is a voluntary contract between two individuals that are or will be living together for a long period of time, but not in a legal marriage arrangement. This can be the best thing for same sex couples to establish the property agreements as stated above, however, it is critical that the same sex couples have additional Estate Planning documents to protect their rights as a couple.
Sadly, death or mental incapacity due to illness or accident may strike at any time. We have seen same sex couples totally eliminated from their loved ones life and or shared home, when a crisis happens and there were no legal documents defining their wishes with a person that they are not legally married to!
Executing these legal documents, while healthy and competent will prevent the need for unnecessary family or court intrusion, expense, and unintended consequences if one has an illness that ends in incapacity or death!
You can get more information about these important estate planning documents by clicking on the linked provided below:
• The Durable Power Of Attorney will make sure that you assign your Partner as the person you wish to handle your financial affairs- not the court system.
• The Advanced Health Directive will ensure your Partner is the one making decisions regarding your care and it will also allow you in the hospital room when “only family members are allowed”.
• The HIPAA Health Care Release Forms will allow your Partner to speak with doctors and health facilities and discuss your condition or care related issues.
You should also consider establishing a Will and a Trust to protect your assets from Probate and to ensure you final wishes are defined legally and your Partner is given the portion of assets you wish.
Trusts – Protecting Your Estate & Your Privacy
Wills – Protecting Your Final Wishes
Even if you are not RICH, it is important to protect yourself, your loved ones & your final wishes!
Review, Amend or Modify Your
Agreements with Your Attorney
The LA LAW Estate Planning Lawyers can carefully review existing agreements, legally interpret the contract and discuss the importance of controlling parts of the agreement. We will make sure you understand what the agreement specifically establishes in case of a divorce or breakup. After a comprehensive review, the LA Law Estate Planning Attorneys can help you modify the agreement if important personal circumstances have changed. Even if you signed what you thought was a "Fair Prenup Contract", we recommend reviewing and possibly updating the contract every five (5) years or so to reflect changes in your current income and asset holdings.
If you were asked, "What would happen to your assets if you were gone tomorrow or incapacitated?".
Our Estate Planning Attorneys can help you have peace of mind & be able to confidently say "Yes, I know exactly what will happen!"
After a thorough review of the best strategies for your estate plan and our fees for the scope of work, we will structure a comprehensive estate plan created specifically to protect your assets and allow you to stay in control of your life and your money.
Our Law Office is located in Southern California; however, we serve many clients throughout the state and love an occasional road trip to help all of our clients, their family and friends.
We are very proud of the many personal and professional referrals we receive from happy clients and colleagues. Please contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.
Take advantage of a free phone consultation or appointment for a free 30 minute consultation to review your individual situation and determine if you would benefit from our experience and legal services.
Call us at: (818) 241-4238