Strategic Tax Advisers and Estate Planners

Marital Agreements

Pre-marital and post-marital agreements are an essential, but often overlooked estate planning tool for individuals who have substantial business interests, high-value assets and accumulated or inherited wealth. For those who are set to inherit family wealth and/or business entities, this agreement can ensure that the family’s assets remain within the family. To that end, marital agreements are effective means providing legal protection for certain assets against division between spouses upon the dissolution of a marriage, and for enabling spouses to follow course on a plan they established prior to divorce proceedings.

At Lawrence Kamin, we understand the legal needs and emotional concerns of high net-worth individuals as they navigate the complexity of establishing a marital agreement with their soon-to-be or current spouse. Our attorneys are outstanding counselors when it comes to reconciling contrasting business differences and opposing views in stressful family situations. As with every client engagement, our approach to marital agreements is to be thoughtful and fair as we structure a legally-enforceable agreement that meets our client’s goals. We know from experience that clients who calmly work through complicated decisions and potential issues and formalize their agreements upfront can minimize stress, contention and legal expense during divorce proceedings. Lawrence Kamin tax and estate planning attorneys have effectively negotiated and drafted pre-marital agreements for a wide range of personal circumstances, including:

  • One partner has significantly more personal wealth than the other, either in the form of individually-owned assets or from an expected inheritance
  • The couple as a whole has few assets at the present time, but one partner has significantly greater earning potential than the other
  • One partner is involved in a closely-held or family business venture
  • One or both partners have legal obligations to a former spouse or have children from a prior relationship
  • The couple is marrying later in life after each has accumulated substantial assets individually and may have had children from a prior relationship

Our firm also counsels couples and individual partners through the development and execution of post-marital agreements. Depending on the client’s goals, Lawrence Kamin attorneys can work to address what the couple wants to happen during the remainder of their marriage, such as how living expenses will be paid, and in the event of a divorce, who will reside in the marital home. We are adept at structuring post-marital agreements to take advantage of tax savings for a couple, which is highly relevant for those moving in or out of a community property state. And we regularly negotiate agreements to protect an inheritance one partner received during the marriage, whereby the non-inheriting partner waives or disavows certain rights to the inherited property and/or agrees that it will always be treated as non-marital property.

When a marital agreement is warranted, Lawrence Kamin attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help clients navigate, negotiate and implement fair and legally sound agreements that safeguard business assets and personal wealth, and provide peace of mind for clients should divorce occur.

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