Do Prenuptial Agreements Override A Last Will And Testament In Florida?
An increasing number of Floridians understand the importance of having a comprehensive estate plan that includes a Last Will and Testament. Many people who write a Will also have a prenuptial agreement stemming from their marriage. But do prenups override Wills in Florida?
What happens if a prenuptial agreement and a Will are in conflict? When the two documents contain conflicting provisions, the prenup will usually override the Last Will and Testament. However, each case is unique, which is why it is best to speak with an attorney.
If you are creating an estate plan and wonder which document will be prioritized – a prenuptial agreement or a Last Will and Testament – you should consult with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney.
Do Prenups Override Wills in Florida?
A prenuptial agreement is an agreement entered into by two individuals before their marriage. Prenups mostly deal with the distribution of assets in the event of divorce. A Last Will and Testament, on the other hand, outlines the Testator’s wishes for how they want their property and affairs to be handled when they die.
If a decedent has both a prenup and a Will at the time of their death, a probate court will review the terms of the two documents to identify any conflicting provisions. If the two documents are in conflict, a Florida court is likely to determine that the terms of the prenup override the terms of the Will. However, it is up to the probate court to decide which document is stronger.
When Do Florida Courts Prioritize Wills Over Prenups?
Some prenuptial agreements come with an expiration date for the agreement. If the decedent passes away after the prenup’s expiration date, their Last Will and Testament will be prioritized by the probate court to distribute assets.
In addition, beneficiaries named in the decedent’s Will have a right to contest the terms of the prenup. If the beneficiaries successfully prove that the prenuptial agreement is not valid, the probate court will not enforce the prenup’s terms.
What Happens if a Person Dies Without a Will?
If a person dies without a Last Will and Testament, the probate court will follow Florida’s intestacy laws when distributing the decedent’s assets to the heirs. However, if the decedent had a prenuptial agreement stemming from their marriage, the court will review the terms of the prenup instead of applying intestacy laws.
Contact a St. Petersburg Estate Planning Lawyer
Since there are many potential problems with having both a prenup and a Will, it is vital to ensure that your prenup coordinates with the Last Will and Testament. You may also avoid potential issues in the long run by clarifying which document should be prioritized after your passing.
A St. Petersburg estate planning lawyer can help you draft a valid prenup and/or Will to ensure that you have a comprehensive estate plan in place. Schedule a consultation with our lawyers at Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP, to determine whether or not a prenup overrides a Will in your particular case. Call 727-471-5868 today.