Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.
Se Habla Español Nous Parlons Français
Call 713-574-7952 or 888-572-6059

When Houston prenuptial agreements collide with estate plans

Financial choices reflect past, evolving and anticipated life events. A newly-married person has different priorities than a first-time parent or an older person contemplating the inheritances of heirs. Texas prenuptial agreements define separate and marital assets but, at some point, the provisions in that contract may conflict with desires for an estate plan.

A Houston pre-marital agreement is a financial cushion in advance of a possible divorce. Provided the marriage endures, a spouse may want to make sure a protected, separate asset or some part of it ends up with a surviving spouse in an estate plan. The terms of asset ownership become conditional.

Is there a way to shelter the asset under one set of circumstances and give all or some of it away under other conditions? The terms of a prenuptial agreement do not have to be changed to allow this to occur. However, more legal documentation is needed to make room for asset access.

Let's use a spouse's business as an example, protected as separate property under a pre-nuptial contract. The business remains indivisible in divorce, but the owner is worried the contract will keep a spouse from benefiting from the business upon the entrepreneur's death. The business owner wants the spouse to receive income without gaining any control over the company.

A financial adviser may recommend establishing a family limited partnership. The spouse with the business retains ownership of the partnership through a limited liability company. Upon the company owner's death, the surviving spouse would inherit a portion of shares and income through a testamentary trust, with no stake in the decision-making end of the ongoing business.

Prenuptial agreements and estate plans involve separate areas of law. It's possible to coordinate a team of financial and legal advisers to guide you over these financial obstacles, so assets are well protected under any conditions now and in the future.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Creating an Estate Plan Around a Prenup" Alex Coppola, Jul. 11, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Client Testimonials

  1. Laura Dale the best Family Law attorney I have ever met... Posted by John...Listens, takes your calls, tells you the truth (even when it may not be what you want to hear)... Read More

  2. The Best...Posted by a Child Custody client... Laura Dale handled my international child custody and divorce matter. I am an attorney in Houston and was referred to her... Read More

  3. A Meticulous, Knowledgeable, Attorney with Heart...Posted by a Child Custody client... Laura was not the first attorney that my husband and I interviewed for an extremely complex... Read More

  4. Top Notch, Hands Down - The Best...Posted by Tammi, a Child Custody client... Laura Dale has been absolutely the best attorney I could have found for my difficult child custody... Read More

Contact Our Experienced Team Today | Se habla español | Nous parlons français

Due to the experience our lawyers have in many specialized areas, you can rely on us to put together the right team to handle your case, even if it centers on complex issues such as international family law, business valuation or bankruptcy. Contact us today to make an appointment to discuss your needs with a knowledgeable lawyer.

Login to Client Portal

Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.
1800 Saint James Place
Suite 620
Houston, TX 77056

Toll Free: 888-572-6059
Phone: 713-574-7952
Fax: 713-600-1718
Houston Law Office Map