Planning for a Marriage is a big ordeal with many details to attend to. With all of the excitement, the last thing a happy couple wants to think about is the possibility that the marriage could end up in divorce. But sometimes, despite all best efforts, a marriage does fail. Here in Texas the divorce rate is for first time marriages is already high enough (almost 60%), but compared to second marriages (60-67%) and third marriages (70-73%), people really should start thinking about the what-if’s in life.
Whether this is your first marriage or second marriage, if you are entering the marriage with any assets, it is wise to consider newlywed planning.
Newlywed planning isn’t just about creating a Texas premarital agreement, although that is certainly one strategy to consider. Newlywed planning goes hand in hand with estate planning, because other strategies involve setting up a separate property trust to segregate property that a spouse enters the marriage with. It may even provide the couple with asset protection that can give them both peace of mind.
Really, newlywed planning is about being proactive in getting your legal and financial house in order. Couples are able to talk about financial issues in a neutral environment, and can establish guidelines so as to avoid future financial misunderstandings.
To prenup or not to prenup? That is the question. Either way, having a separate property trust is important to consider prior to marriage, especially if one or both spouses are coming into the marriage with assets of their own.
If you are in a second marriage, or if either you or your spouse has children from a prior marriage, it is particularly important for you to have a solid estate plan. At GP Schoemakers, PLLC we are experienced with this type of “blended family” planning and sensitive to the issues that it raises.
For example, in families with children from prior relationships, or if you and your spouse have different beneficiaries, your estate planning goals may conflict. The creation of a revocable living trust will help to ensure that your wishes are carried out and that your children and other loved ones are protected.