Understanding the Legal Impact of a Premarital Agreement in a Second Marriage

HNWElder Law, Estate Administration and Probate, Estate Planning

New Jersey law allows a spouse to waive his or her right to inherit the estate of a deceased spouse.  A spouse’s premarital waiver to the Estate of his/her late spouse will be voided, however, when the underlying premarital contract is found unenforceable.

Often there are conflicts between a step-parent and the children of the deceased parent.  The issue often involves a remorseful spouse and the enforceability of his or her right(s) to inherit a portion of their late spouse’s estate even though each spouse had waived their right(s) to the estate before marriage.

Under New Jersey Law and N.J.S.A. 3B:8-10 and N.J.S.A. 37:2-30, if a premarital agreement cannot be enforced then a waiver of rights is also unenforceable.

Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann, a central New Jersey law firm commented that a married person needs to exercise extreme caution and adherence to both form and substance when contemplating a second and/or successive marriage if he or she wants to protect their estate for the benefit of their children.  Mr. Niemann cautions that without a carefully prepared pre-marital agreement, “Older, financially successful men and women must be aware of the significant, almost enormous risks to them should the marriage fail.  By consulting with a qualified New Jersey Estate Planning attorney, the individual can take meaningful steps to protect their life’s savings for the benefit of all who are intended to receive it.”

To discuss your NJ estate planning matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com. Please ask us about our video conferencing or telephone consultations if you are unable to come to our office.

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold Township, Monmouth County, NJ Estate Planning Law Attorney

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