Prenuptial Agreements: A prenuptial agreement is an agreement by two people before they marry and outlines how to divide the assets at the time of divorce, or death for that matter. The agreement can deal with the division of assets, categorize assets as community or separate property, deal with alimony, and basically give greater control for the parties to decide how they want assets and property rights handled in the event the marriage ends.
Postnuptial Agreements: Similar to the Prenuptial Agreement, a postnuptial agreement provides the division and distribution of assets in the event of divorce or death BUT the agreement is signed during the marriage. Some commentators have stated that there is a higher level of scrutiny for such agreements since the spouses signing are now giving up existing marital rights in exchange for the agreement. For both agreements, there is a high level of scrutiny by the Courts so each party having their own attorney and both parties completely aware and willing to enter into the agreement is essential.
Cohabitation Agreements: When a couple lives together for a significant time, they should consider entering into a Cohabitation Agreement to address the same issues as married couples do. The laws in Arizona, and most states, are not as clear cut for unmarried couples deciding to separate. Unlike the prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, the Cohabitation Agreements creates both rights for the other party as well as spells out in advance how to deal with the separation.
About Knollmiller & Arenofsky, LLP
Knollmiller & Arenofsky, LLP is an Arizona trust and estate planning firm located in Mesa. James G. Knollmiller is a Certified Tax Specialist under the State Bar of Arizona and has been serving Arizonans through the firm since 1974. Clients come to Knollmiller & Arenofsky, LLP with a variety of estate planning and tax issues, and James’ nearly 40 years of experience give him the skills to answer all of his client’s questions. Areas of practice offered by the firm include wills, trusts, probate, estate administration, IRA and retirement planning, inheritance issues, family agreements, and more. To learn more about the firm, please visit: http://www.aboutestateplanning.com