Real Estate

Marriage has often been referred to as a partnership. It is very unique, in that it binds people to a civil contract that carries with it a lot of responsibility, and serious consequences. In addition to suggesting that even those who are just starting out their economic lives, but also those who have earned or inherited assets should consider formalizing this in pre or postnuptial. It is just plain wisdom.

It is a rare couple who discusses the fiscal responsibilities of marriage, or their goals and thoughts for their future. Couples combine their resources to make mutual commitments, from purchasing a home to moving to a new location for the betterment of the career of one or the other. In our current business climate, fewer companies are offering fringe benefits. One of those benefits is often been the availability of inexpensive life insurance. It has been a blessing and a curse, because young couples rarely measure the real need, or meaning for acquiring life insurance, nor the methods whereby the right amount of insurance is determined, and set it up in a plan that will properly benefit the other member of the marriage, or any children that arise from the marriage.

Surprisingly, we have frequently seen an assumption about marriage that just isn’t true. One member of the couple will already own a home, and upon marriage, the marriage partners often believe that the other party will benefit from the ownership of the home. If the death of one occurs. Somehow, the belief is that the simple fact of marriage changes the dynamics of ownership to benefit both. Ironically, to some extent, marital law does protect both parties in the event of a divorce, as both parties are likely contributing to paying for the home. But what about death?

Florida law restricts how one may devise their Homestead in the event a decedent is survived by a spouse or minor child. It is a fairly simple process to execute a deed from one party to both as husband and wife. That means that the survivor be the owner of the property, but not does not affect how marital law would determine ownership in the event of a divorce. The mistake is often not dealing with this considering the actual legal implications, not that everyone should co-own the marital home. Not considering how this will affect the family after the death of one is the mistake, it’s one of the many things that ought to be contemplated before marriage, and certainly once a couple is beginning to acquire assets or future heirs.

The concept of “PLANNING” is an important and often omitted consideration. Life is in session. Pay attention.