Kobe's Mistake

Even though he may continue to win big on the basketball court, it looks like Kobe may lose big in another court.  While Pre-Marital/Post-Marital agreements still carry a stigma – maybe from too many Johnny Carson jokes.  The fact is they are an important tool in estate planning as well as marital planning.  Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is learning the hard way (see: http://thetrustadvisor.com/news/kobe).  Given Kobe’s current worth of approximately $150 million, a lack of planning will probably cost him dearly.  Without a pre-marital or post-marital agreement and the fact that he lives in a community property state, it is likely his ex-wife will end up with half of his fortune.Even if a divorce never occurs or you don’t have the fortune of Kobe, if there are children that are not the children of both spouses, the lack of a pre or post-martial agreement can devastate an estate plan.  Any time there is a financial disparity between the spouses entering the marriage or children from other relationships a pre-marital agreement or asset protection trust is a must.  While many states allow post-marital agreements they can be much more difficult to negotiate and put in place.