When the actor Robin Williams passed away in 2014, a public controversy surfaced almost immediately over the disposition of certain pieces of the late comedian’s estate. Specifically, the dispute was between Williams’ third wife and his children from a previous marriage and the rights of each to a number of personal belongings, including a collection of wristwatches. This type of situation is not terribly uncommon for those who have been married multiple times, and is a major reason that prenuptial agreements are often integral to a peaceful remarriage situation.
More Than Just a New Relationship
If you are thinking about getting remarried and you already have children from a previous relationship, you probably realize that your choice to get married again is likely to have an effect on them. Depending upon your children’s age and maturity level, they may be able to understand and even welcome the addition of a new stepparent to their lives. Remarriage, however, can have implications well beyond interpersonal relationships, as a new spouse and a blended family situation can lead to complexities in ensuring your children’s inheritance rights are protected.
Estate Planning Reinforcement
As you plan for the future, you, of course, can draft a will or trust to direct how your assets and property will be divided among your heirs in the event of your death. A prenuptial agreement that addresses the inheritance rights of your children can complement your estate planning efforts. When you get remarried, you are likely to amend your estate plan to include your new spouse and any children you subsequently have together. By agreeing in advance to protect the rights of your children from a previous relationship, you and your spouse can develop a new estate plan that honors the terms of your prenuptial agreement, significantly reducing potential confusion and conflict in the future.
Power of a Prenuptial Agreement
A prenuptial agreement drafted prior to your remarriage can address both of the major concerns that estate planning can leave uncovered. As, by definition, such an agreement is developed before the marriage, there is no marital estate yet. You and your spouse each have your individual property that can be expressly protected from becoming marital property. You can choose, at this stage, to leave a portion of your personal assets to your children. If your spouse agrees to it, you may also be able to designate a percentage of your anticipated marital estate to your current children as well.
Since it is essentially a contract between you and your soon-to-be new spouse, a prenuptial agreement also eliminates future surprises. Both you and your partner can know each other’s plans for property and children’s inheritance well in advance. If there is a problem or concern, it can be addressed before the agreement is signed, allowing you and your children the security you deserve.
Call Us for Assistance
To learn more about drafting a prenuptial agreement to protect your children’s inheritance rights, contact an experienced Kane County family law attorney. Our knowledgeable team can answer your questions and will work with you in developing an agreement that meets your family’s needs. Call 630-377-7770 to schedule your free consultation today.