In the second article in our series on estate planning for marriage, we will discuss the value of post-nuptial agreements. A post-nuptial agreement is, as its name suggests, a marital agreement entered into after a couple is married. Similar to a pre-nuptial agreement, a post-nuptial agreement creates an outline of how certain property and finances will be divided in the event of divorce or death.

For a postnuptial agreement to be valid in Tennessee, both parties must willingly agree to its terms and consideration must be exchanged. As with a pre-nuptial agreement, it is imperative that both parties retain separate legal counsel and fully disclose assets to ensure they are making an informed decision.

Financial matters can be a source of struggle between couples, particularly when one spouse is wealthier than the other. Regardless of economic status prior to marriage, devising a plan that provides both spouses a financial roadmap in the event of divorce can ease tension within the marriage no matter how unlikely a divorce is to occur. In addition to planning for divorce, a post-nuptial agreement, in conjunction with other estate planning techniques, can provide additional security in the event of death.

No matter the current state of your personal relationship, having an estate plan in place for your marriage need not be a scary or volatile process. And just because you missed the window for entering into a pre-nuptial agreement does not mean you have to remain uncertain about your family’s finances and estate plan. Marriage is only the beginning and there are opportunities available thereafter to plan for navigating your personal finances.