Estate Planning, in comparison to other practice areas, has typically been a relatively smooth and non-litigious area of the law involving, among other things, the transition of assets from one generation to the next. However, due to the increase in second marriages, smooth transitions are becoming less common around the country. As Americans live longer and as the divorce rate remains high, more and more people are moving into second or more marriages, which in many cases, is leading to tension between children of former marriages, their parent and their parent's new spouse.
According to some industry publications, in more and more cases, children are going to court against their parents. Thus, the once non-litigious field of Estate Planning is starting to be transformed by litigators taking on will contest cases, a change that brings with it, new considerations in estate planning for second marriages. Since litigation is on the rise, so are Prenuptial Agreements and sophisticated trusts that are designed to hinder potential litigation.
Prenuptial Agreements need to be entered into in advance of marriage. Post-Nuptial Agreements (agreements entered after marriage) are not valid under Ohio law. The two principal areas covered in a Prenuptial Agreement involve the death of a spouses or a divorce between the couple. Both circumstances and issues are important. A Prenuptial Agreement typically addresses one or more of the following objectives:
If you are or are about to enter a marriage, take note that gone are the days of the sleepy Estate Planning field. Balancing your love and affection for your new spouse to be and the perceived birth right of your children or other family members to your estate can be difficult. The best way to address the challenging issues and keep your family intact is to talk about our plans ahead of time and take steps to protect your estate planning objectives by working with an estate planning attorney who has worked with many families to help you evaluate all the considerations and make the necessary arrangements. Consult David H. Lefton, Attorney at Law to thoroughly review your situation and your objectives.
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