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Prenuptial Agreements & Inheritences

Lots of clients come to me at The Law Office of Diana C. Schimmel, Esquire asking about prenuptial agreements.  As this is not the most romantic document to discuss before getting married, there is usually an important and specific item or asset in mind that they want to protect that brought them to a lawyer.  Very often this asset is an inheritance- a piece of property, a trust fund, etc.  They know that they are going to receive this item when their parents or grandparents pass away and they know they want to keep it separate.  But, they do not know how to specifically do this under Pennsylvania or New Jersey Family Law.  

There are a few scenarios that parties often face:

1. They want to keep the inherited property or asset completely separate.  This is the basic scenario where someone inherits an item and does not want it included in the marital pot.

2. They want to keep the inherited property or asset completely separate, including any future value of that asset.  This scenario deals with an inherited asset like a piece of property, where it will grow in intangible value year to year.  Parties often not only want to protect the house itself, but the value it gains as it sits on the market.

3.  They want to keep the inherited property or asset completely separate, including any future use of that asset.  This comes up when a party inherits a stock account or trust fund.  The money can sit in an account and gain interest or dividends.  Or, a party can take the money out and use it to purchase something else (like a car or a vacation).  Often parties want to separate the inherited money itself but not what they spend it on.  Or, they want to set a limit of what they spend and keep separate.

Whichever scenario above fits your personal needs, it is important to have an attorney discuss with you your rights, the implications of an inheritance and how divorce can effect what you receive.  Contact our office today for a consultiation and help drafting your prenuptial agreement.

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