Protect Your Estate with The Help of San Jose Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys

Sometimes, you may wish to keep your property entirely separate from your spouse during marriage or in case of a divorce. You may have children from a prior marriage and wish to protect their right to inherit your estate. In other cases, you may have accumulated a substantial amount of wealth before marriage. You may want to ensure that some or all of this wealth will stay within your family line or be distributed to a charity after your death, rather than being shared with a new spouse. A prenuptial agreement — often called a premarital agreement — can help to ensure that your estate plan works as you intended. Additionally, a postnuptial agreement, which you sign after marriage, can accomplish the same thing.

The attorneys at Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP help clients prepare prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. If you are looking for answers about how to protect your property and your estate, then contact us today. We represent clients throughout Fremont, Walnut Creek, Danville, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Francisco, and other counties.

How Does a Prenuptial Agreement Work?

A prenuptial agreement can protect both parties during a marriage and in case the marriage dissolves later. You can customize your prenup to fit your unique situation as well. However, California law sets out certain requirements that must be met to establish a valid prenuptial agreement. These include:

  • The agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties, who must both consent to the terms. This is true of any contract; neither party may be coerced into signing, and a prenuptial agreement will be invalid if it is based on fraud or misleading statements. Additionally, if either spouse’s first language is not English, then the agreement may need to be translated.
  • The agreement cannot result from unequal bargaining power. A prenuptial agreement cannot be “unconscionable,” meaning that both parties must have relatively equal bargaining power. This is especially important if the prenuptial agreement favors the partner with more power.
  • The agreement cannot unfairly favor one party. Generally, the terms of a prenup should be fair to both sides. California prenuptial agreement attorneys can help you determine what this means for your unique situation.
  • Each person must have his or her own attorney or waive the right to a lawyer. You should always consider having a prenuptial agreement lawyer examine your contract before signing.
  • Each person must have a complete understanding of the other’s finances and must understand all conditions of the agreement. You cannot make an objective decision about signing a prenuptial agreement without this information.
  • You must wait a minimum of seven days before signing. This gives both people time to consider the terms and impact of the prenuptial agreement.

How Can Post-Marital Agreements Resolve Estate Planning Issues?

Sometimes a client who is already married will explain to us that they want the bulk of their assets to be distributed to someone other than their spouse on the client’s death. If we discover that the client has commingled assets with their spouse, then sometimes even the best estate plan cannot ensure that on the client’s death these assets will be distributed to someone other than their spouse. In that case, our attorneys may prepare a postnuptial (or post-marital) agreement for the client to ensure that their estate planning documents will have the intended effect.

Most of the time, clients who plan to marry or are already married desire to provide primarily for their spouses in their estate plans. Therefore, there is no need for a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. However, in those cases where a married or soon-to-be-married client wishes to provide primarily for someone other than their spouse or for charity, a prenup or postnup may be an essential part of the client’s estate plan. Having these documents prepared by the same law firm that is preparing your estate planning documents can provide a huge benefit to your overall estate.

Need Comprehensive Estate Planning Services? Call San Jose Premarital and Post-Marital Agreement Attorneys

We welcome your inquiry regarding our estate planning services. For further information, or to schedule a consultation with a San Jose or Danville estate planning lawyer, contact Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP.

Our Danville and San Jose law firm represents clients in Fremont, Walnut Creek, Danville, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Francisco, and other counties. Call our San Jose office at (408) 998-9500, our Danville office at 408-998-9500 or contact Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP online today.