Avoiding Conflicts Involving the House with a Premarital Agreement

One area where it is crucial to make sure the premarital agreement is integrated with the estate plan is with regard to the residence. For example, while many premarital agreements provide that the surviving spouse may remain in the residence, the house may be in a revocable living trust that goes directly to the children. To avoid such conflicts, Ganderson tries to have the estate plan completed before the marriage.

One option for clients who want to allow a surviving spouse to continue to reside in the home is for the wealthy spouse to set up a trust to provide for maintenance on the house. Many clients put restrictions on the surviving spouse's right to stay in the house. For example, a wife may allow a husband to remain in the house as long as he doesn't bring a member of the opposite sex into the home to spend the night. When it comes to the house, Ganderson stressed that it is important to be as specific as possible in the premarital agreement.

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