Prenuptial, Postnuptial Agreements & Joint Ownership of Assets in Maine
We can counsel you about and assist with the drafting of prenuptial agreements. This may be the last thing you want to think about when you are in love, but signing a prenuptial agreement is an essential step to securing your assets and estate for the future. This is especially important in the context of an estate plan involving a second marriage.
Prenuptial Agreements & Postnuptial Agreements in Maine
I love my fiancé – why would I want a prenup?
This question almost always comes up when we suggest a prenup to one of our clients. What it boils down to is that the future is unpredictable, and the path that your life will follow may involve some cruel twists. As your legal advisers, we cannot allow emotions–no matter how strong or wonderful–to distract from this truth. We believe in hoping for the best but planning for the worst. We also understand that asking your fiancé to sign a prenuptial agreement may not be an easy task. But if you have assets that you do not want to be affected by your marriage or divorce, it’s the price to pay.
Joint Ownership of Assets in Maine
This joint ownership of assets creates a legal relationship that has both risks and benefits. Often times, this set up works well for all parties. But when relationships break down, joint ownership can become a nightmare for everyone involved. For this reason, we recommend carefully reviewing joint ownerships and creating a plan for any possible bumps that may lie in the road ahead.
There are two basic forms of joint ownership: joint tenancy and tenancy in common. The major difference between the two is that in a joint tenancy, when one owner dies, their interest in the property passes to the co-tenant. This transfer happens automatically, without the need for a will or probate. With a tenancy in common, on the other hand, when a joint tenant dies, their share of the property passes to their heirs as provided for in their will or by the laws of intestacy.
I have property in joint tenancy with spouse, why do I need a will?
A will does more than just direct how your property should be distributed upon your death. It may include many other directives such as wishes for your funeral, any donations you would like your estate to make, and who should be in charge of winding up your estate when you pass. Assuming that you only have one asset, which is owned in joint tenancy and will transfer to the co-owner automatically, you should still have a will to accomplish your other estate planning goals. If you have other assets that are not held in joint tenancy, you will need a will to direct how these assets will be disbursed upon your death.