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Antenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements

Antenuptial Agreements (known commonly as Prenuptial Agreements) and postnuptial agreements are worthwhile for certain couples who have the desire to determine the disposition of assets in the event of death or divorce. Couples contemplating marriage or couples who are already married can enter into an agreement that allows them to determine in advance how their assets will be handled instead of having assets controlled by the default rules of Minnesota law.

There are a number of reasons that couples consider entering in to an Antenuptial Agreement. These include: when one spouse has a much larger estate or owns a business; when there will be a blended family; or when a spouse expects to receive an inheritance; or couples who aren't sure what the future holds. Many couples will benefit from having a plan in place.

Antenuptial Agreements encourage peace and fairness in the division of assets upon death and divorce, and give people the peace of mind knowing that their financial interests and the disposition to their heirs are not jeopardized by their decision to marry.

A thorough Antenuptial Agreement should include decisions about a number of topics that will affect a couple, including how premarital debts are to be paid; who will own what property in the event of a death or divorce; what type of alimony or spousal support will be provided; what will be provided for in each spouse's will; and what types of provisions will be made for medical or life insurance. Each of these decisions should be made with both parties in agreement.

A postnuptial agreement will consist of much of the same information, so that both parties understand how property will be divided in the event of a divorce. The main difference between the two types of agreements is that the postnuptial agreement is created after the parties have been married. Both are crafted by parties who wish to make their needs and expectations perfectly clear.

In order to be legally binding, the agreement must be based on complete and accurate information and both parties must by advised by their own attorney. The advice and guidance of an attorney also allows the discussion of difficult issues to take place in a calm and reasoned environment. Non-traditional couples and unmarried partners also benefit from having an agreement in place to address the division of assets in the event of death or termination of the relationship. We have experience in discussing, drafting and also in providing independent representation for clients entering into agreements of this nature.

Attorneys:  Dwight P. Cummins

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