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Prenup vital in protecting child's inheritance in second marriage

Minnesota readers are quite aware about the benefits of a prenuptial agreement, particularly in the case of a second marriage. There is a common perception that a prenuptial agreement is important in the event of a divorce. In fact, in cases of second marriage, a prenuptial agreement can be made in order to protect the right and inheritance of children from a previous marriage.

The couples in most second marriages are eager to protect the inheritance rights of their child from the first marriage. They readily make plans for what their child from the first marriage will inherit in the event of their death or divorce. But it is important to put down the plan in writing and get a signed agreement. A written agreement is an enforceable and binding agreement.

In the absence of a written agreement, the surviving spouse can very easily take out money from the estate under the spouse's statutory allowance or claim one half of the retirement account under federal ERISA law, which permits the surviving spouse to do so against the wishes of the deceased spouse. Additionally, if a new legal representative is appointed who is unaware about the verbal agreement between spouses, the surviving spouse may not obey the wishes of the deceased spouse and may exercise the surviving spouse's legal option.

Hence, it can be deduced that without a written prenuptial agreement, the surviving spouse is not bound to follow the wishes of the deceased spouse or protect the inheritance rights of the children of the previous marriage of the deceased spouse. A well written prenuptial agreement describing details of each ones' right of both previous and present marriage can amicably solve any future battles regarding property and also protect the rights of each person.

Source: Business Lexington, "Protecting your child's inheritance in a second marriage," Kevin Henry and Doug Martin, Jan. 3, 2013

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