It was the second marriage for Eldon and Sharlene. They married on September 24, 2011. His last will was executed 8 years before his marriage. Eldon never updated will or made a new one at the time of his second marriage.
One day before the wedding Eldon and Sharlene signed a prenuptial agreement. In the prenuptial agreement both parties “absolutely and completely” disclaimed any interest in the other’s estate including all real and personal property. They also agreed that there had been a full and complete disclosure of the property owned by the other although Eldon’s property was not valued and his income tax return was not attached. The agreement also recited “that [he or she does], in fact, have personal knowledge of the full extent of the other’s property, and that said [property lists] are only representative in nature.” Finally, each party waived any interest in the other’s estate, including elective share, augmented estate, homestead and intestate rights.
Eldon died in August 2013. The inventory of his estate was approximately $10 million, the bulk of it being real estate.
Sharlene sued Eldon’s estate as an omitted spouse. Both the county court and Nebraska Supreme Court held that she waived her right as a spouse when she voluntarily signed the prenuptial agreement.
For purposes of this blog, I only note that Eldon would have been wise to update his will at the time of his second marriage. Another approach would have been to convey some or all of his assets to a trust. With a trust, he could have avoided probate and made some provision for his second wife (if that was his intent) while assuring that the children from his first marriage ultimately received his assets.
In re Estate of Psota, 297 Neb. 570 (August 25, 2017).