Understanding the Difference between a Prenuptial Agreement, a Will, or a Trust

Prenuptial agreements are often utilized currently. They make sense in many circumstances, such as with subsequent marriages. Wills and trusts are other common ways to safeguard possessions. Despite the fact that these tools are now more widely used, a portion of the general public still misunderstands the differences between drafting a will and a trust, as well as the reasons for enrolling into a prenuptial agreement. What are the functions of these various legal documents? When should you use them?

Functions of a Will or Trust: When a married couple wants to make sure that their property passes to their heirs or other beneficiaries according to their wishes, a will or a trust can be used to document those wishes and make it clear to anyone with an interest in the couple’s property who should get what, when they should get it, and how they should get it.

Elective Share Rights of Spouses: Consider a devoted spouse who worked at home for years, ensuring that the income-earning spouse was taken care of in all household matters. The income-earning spouse then betrayed the at-home spouse by signing a will in secret that left all of their assets to a new love partner, thus disinheriting the at-home spouse and leaving them penniless.

Every state has rules in place to safeguard a surviving spouse from being disinherited completely by their deceased spouse.

When Elective Share Rights Go Wrong: On the other hand, there are several circumstances in which elective share statutes might result in an unfair outcome of a different sort. Consider an elderly single person who has worked their entire life to save money and has decided to give their property and savings to the orphanage where they were raised. Later, the orphan marries, and the widow lodges a claim to overturn the deceased’s wishes after their death. The surviving spouse now inherits a substantial portion of the property that was intended for the orphanage.

Prenuptial Agreements to the Rescue
A prenuptial agreement can be beneficial in such a situation. A prenuptial agreement details how property will be owned and what rights each spouse has to the property of the other.

When Should You Consider Getting a Prenuptial Agreement?

  • You are marrying or remarrying and want to keep your finances separate.
  • You want to make sure that your property passes to someone other than your spouse.
  • You want to spell out exactly what property you will give your spouse if you divorce.
  • You and your spouse each want to be protected from the other’s debts.


Prenuptial agreements, wills, and trusts can be powerful legal documents that can play a crucial role in helping you achieve financial goals and protect you and your loved ones from unfortunate surprises when it comes to passing on your property. Properly implemented, they can provide significant peace of mind. If you want to learn more about this topic, contact your attorney today to discuss these essential legal tools.

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