Does a pre-nuptial override beneficiaries? - Estate Planning Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

Free Answers to your Legal Questions by Lawyers.
ask »


Does a pre-nuptial override beneficiaries?

My husband and I have a prenuptial agreement that excludes me from ownership our family home in the event of divorce or death. My husband does not have a will, but has put me on his bank accounts as a beneficiary after we were wed. He believes that all his money will go to me should he die, but I think it would go to Probate and his estate would go to his heirs or siblings because he did not create a will stating otherwise. Who is correct?

WFB Legal Consulting, Inc.
Contact this Attorney Now

A Pre-Nup only has force and effect if a divorce occurs. Without a living trust, his estate will pass intestate succession and you, as his current wife, would generally be first in line. *DISCLAMER: The information provided by WFB Legal Consulting, Inc. is disseminated for educational purposes only, and is not to be construed as legal advice. Do not take any action, postpone any action, or decline to take any proposed action based on this information without first engaging the representation of a licensed attorney at law in your State of residence.*

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/17/2014

Answer By Edwin K. Niles

Contact this Attorney Now

If the home is in his name alone, yes, his estate would have to go through probate, and would go to his closest relatives. If they knew about the pre-nup, they could object to you getting any part of the home. Sounds as if you two need to talk to an estate-planning lawyer.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/15/2014

Answer By Norman H. Green

Contact this Attorney Now

1. All the bank accounts will go to you, so he is right. 2. The house presumably will go to his heirs, but be sure you consult a lawyer BEFORE moving out. Also, depending on what it says in the prenup, you may be entitled to serve as administrator (and be compensated for that).

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/15/2014

Answer By Victor Waid
Law Office Of Victor Waid
Contact this Attorney Now

You may be on his account, but does the account say pay on death to you? Not just as a joint tenant. Your husband is advised to obtain the services of a probate trust attorney to have a estate plan trust prepared, with other supporting documents, such as a pour over will to back up the trust. Both documents would name you as the beneficiary. And if you have any real estate, personal property, then those assets should be transferred into the trust, as well as other assets.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/15/2014


Contact this Attorney Now

It would be best if your husband created a will naming you as beneficiary of his bank accounts. The will should state that a prenuptial agreement exists but that this will supersedes the prenuptial agreement with regard to the bank accounts only.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/15/2014

Answer By Christine James
James Law Group
Contact this Attorney Now

Beneficiary designations control over all else.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/15/2014

© 2017 MH Sub I, LLC. All rights reserved.
Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | IB Cookie Policy