What a marriage agreement can cover depends on the type of assets you have and where you live. Given the above, existing divorce laws could already divide your assets in a way that you think is right. For example, the communal court will divide the property you and your spouse acquired during the marriage into a 50/50 split, while each spouse can keep his or her property separate. It`s a little more difficult in Hawaii, a non-communal real estate state. The court will divide the property as it sees fit – not necessarily in the same way. As more and more people get married more than once, marital agreements have become an important tool for estate planning. In the absence of a marriage agreement, your new spouse may invalidate your existing estate plan. Such agreements are especially useful if you have children from a previous marriage or important legacies that you wish to keep on your side of your family. If you are already married and are in the situation where you should have entered into a marriage with your husband or wife. For example, it`s a second marriage and you keep your finances separate, you`re both self-sufficient, none of you think your spouse would need an inheritance from you, and you`d rather leave your estate to your children.
All hope is not lost. You can conclude what is called a „post-marriage arrangement.” The terms of your post-marriage arrangement may be the same as in a conjugal agreement. Whether you are entering into a marriage or post-marriage contract, you should check your succession plan and, if necessary, update it to ensure that your estate plan is related to your marriage contract or marriage. If you do not have an estate plan, you must provide your estate planning lawyer with a copy of your marriage or marriage contract so that they can best formulate an estate plan in accordance with the terms of your agreement. In New York State and most other states, a person cannot bequeath his or her spouse entirely. This means that your spouse in New York State, if you leave a last will and a will that claims to leave your entire estate to someone other than your spouse, can exercise a „voting right” and vote against your estate.