Judith and William are in their 60s. It is a second marriage for both, and they each have children from their prior marriages. Judith, a widow, accumulated some wealth from her deceased husband. William’s financial circumstances are more modest. They did not enter into a prenuptial agreement at the time of their marriage.
Now Judith’s children are concerned that Judith’s wealth will be passed to William and then his children. This is creating corrosiveness between the two sets of children and is spilling over into the relationship between Judith and William.
Judith and William want to do something to support each other financially but allay the children’s fears.
Marital mediation brings clarity. In the setting of mediation sessions, they are to be honest with each other, and talk about the inheritance and support problem in an open way. They learn that even though they did not enter into a prenuptial agreement at the time of their marriage, they can enter into a postnuptial agreement now.
The marital mediator explained to Judith and William that there was a way to organize their estate plan so that their respective children could be protected and also their support and financial commitment to each other can be confirmed. The couple puts a postnuptial agreement in place with the help of an estate planning attorney and under the guidance of the marital mediator that calls for support for the surviving spouse, protection of assets, and a reasonable asset split between the children after the death of Judith and William. And the new estate plan will save taxes, too!
With the postnuptial agreement and the new estate plan in place, Judith and William’s marriage begins to rebound and their relationship with their children improves.
This case study is fictional and does not represent any real person.