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Should a prenuptial agreement be part of your estate plan?

If you are planning a wedding, the last thing that you want to think about is the possibility that the marriage could end in divorce. However, it can be both prudent and financially practical to think about the future in case it does not work out as planned.

One of the ways that you can protect your interests before you even get married is to draft a prenuptial agreement. This may not seem like a romantic prospect during the exciting time leading up to your wedding, but you will not regret having the protection of your property and financial interests fully secured for the future.

A strong prenuptial agreement

In the event of a divorce, a prenuptial agreement could come under scrutiny. One spouse may challenge the terms of the agreement, and if there are issues, it is possible that a Washington family law judge could rule it partially or completely invalid. You can avoid this possibility by ensuring that the drafting of your prenuptial agreement is proper and legal. You can do this by taking the following steps:

  • Make sure your agreement is in writing and that both parties have had ample time to read it thoroughly.
  • Both parties must sign the agreement without pressure or any form of coercion.
  • Your agreement should not include any provisions that a judge may rule illegal or invalid, and neither party should give false information about what is in the agreement.

If a judge does rule that your premarital agreement is invalid, it will result in complications during the divorce process. A strong agreement allows you to outline your desires for property division and other matters.

Who needs a prenuptial agreement?

Many times, people commonly associate a prenuptial agreement with the rich and famous. While this is a necessary safety measure for people who have valuable assets and significant wealth, it is also beneficial for people of all income levels. Having a prenuptial agreement in place can help you avoid litigation and disputes over issues such as property division, spousal support and more.

A prenuptial agreement is not planning for a marriage to fail, but it is a plan to protect your interests. It is a smart step, regardless of your income level, and it could be a necessary part of your existing estate plan. Before you take the major step of walking down the aisle, you would be wise to take the steps necessary to shield your future self from any potential threats to your financial well-being and property interests.

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Marsh, Higgins, Beaty & Hatch, P.C.
1112 Daniels Street, Suite 200
Vancouver, WA 98660

Toll Free: 866-678-1372
Phone: 360-450-0993
Fax: 360-694-1758
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