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Getting Married

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Prenuptial Agreement

A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding document, entered into by two people who have the intention of entering into a legal marriage or civil union. Prenuptial agreements may cover a broad range of issues. Most often included are terms to deal with issues arising in divorce. For example division of assets, and spousal support.

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Codicil to Will (To Add Spouse)

When you get married, it is important to update your will to include your new spouse, so that your new spouse is included, and to avoid unnecessary probate expenses. In order to update your will, you don't need to rewrite the entire thing. All you need to do is create a codicil (modification to the will) and specify what part of the will you would like changed so that your new spouse is included. Reference the location and the specific language you will be affecting. Be as clear and precise as possible to avoid undue complications. This form is not a substitute for legal advice. When making a codicil, it is highly recommended to seek the advice of a qualified estate planning attorney to avoid complications and assure that your codicil states your modified wishes.

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Power of Attorney (limited/specific)

A power of attorney authorizes another person to act on your behalf in legal, medical or business matters. Use this document to authorize someone to act on your behalf in matters which you are given the opportunity to specify.

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Revocation of Power of Attorney

A power of attorney authorizes another person to act on your behalf in legal or business matters. If you have already given someone power of attorney over your matters but have since then decided to revoke power from that person it will be necessary to do so in writing and have it authorized by a notary public. Use this document to revoke power of attorney from a previously authorized person.

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Life Insurance Beneficiary Change Request - To Add New Spouse

When you marry, you may wish to change the beneficiary of your life insurance policy to include your new spouse. Requests to change beneficiaries must be submitted in writing to your insurance carrier. If you would like to add your spouse as a beneficiary to your policy, use this Life Insurance Beneficiary Change Request to create a customized letter for your carrier with your specific policy and beneficiary information.

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Non-marital Cohabitation Agreement

In the last few decades, more and more couples have chosen to live together rather than get married for a variety of reasons. In these types of relationships, each partner may have different ideas about how money is managed or debt is paid. If the couple splits and there is no agreement stating who will own what assets or who will pay what debts, a court may infer an enforceable agreement actually exists! The good news is that most states that will infer an unwritten enforceable cohabitation agreement (palimony, property splitting, etc.) will also abide by a written nonmarital cohabitation agreement signed by the parties. This document is designed for the use of couples who are not married, but share the same home. Its purpose is to let each person maintain separate property, define how jointly purchased property will be distributed in case of separation, and outline how household expenses are divided.

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Quitclaim Deed to be used to convey property ownership as community property

A Quitclaim deed allows for the transfer of a share of interest in property. What makes a quitclaim deed unique is that the grantor does not guarantee or warrant anything when transferring his or her share. The grantor may in fact not have title or interest in the property. Some common uses for quitclaim deeds are to transfer title between family members, in a divorce when one spouse will "quitclaim" his or her interest in the family home to the other spouse for example, or to transfer real property into a trust or to a corporation.

In states that recognize community property, married spouses, and in some states, domestic partners, who acquire property during the marriage or partnership do so as community property. This means that the property is an asset of the community, and that it is owned jointly by the spouses or partners. There are no survivorship rights with regards to community property, upon death of one spouse or partner 1/2 of the community property passes to the living spouse or partner and the other 1/2 passes by will or intestate. Different states treat community property differently and therefore the laws of your particular state should be consulted.

This type of Deed is most often used by a couple after marriage to transfer title from one spouse to both spouses.

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General Information

Congratulations on your decision to get married! Marriage is a huge step and with it comes much excitement, happiness and also responsibilities. When you are planning to get married your legal needs may be the furthest thing from your mind, but they shouldn't be overlooked. LawSmart will help you stay organized, prepared and protected while you move through this thrilling stage of your life.