So you are planning on getting married. Congratulations and best wishes! But before you say “I do” to your new spouse, please consider the following important estate planning tools. Your future, as well as the future of your children and grandchildren, depends on it.
Prenuptial Agreement– Counter to popular opinion, prenuptial agreements are not just for the rich and they’re not just in case of divorce. Prenuptial agreements can be used to ensure that property passes to children or other chosen heirs and not a new spouses, in the event of death, among other useful advantages.
Last Will and Testament– Without a will setting forth who will inherit on the event of your death, Ohio law dictates that your spouse will inherit much if not all of your probate property (unless a valid Prenuptial Agreement states otherwise).
Living Trust– Although Ohio law does not allow a spouse to entirely disinherit a spouse as far a probate property is concerned (without a valid Prenuptial Agreement), because a spouse cannot elect against non-probate property, you can effectively disinherit a spouse by transferring property into a Living Trust.
Keep in mind that if you haven’t yet tied the knot, a Prenuptial Agreement is your most powerful planning tool. If you are already married and would like your inheritance to go elsewhere should you predecease your spouse, a Living Trust may be your best option.