Smith v. Smith

Smith v. Smith, 232 So.3d 509 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017)

This decision involves the question of whether a prenuptial agreement precluded the surviving spouse from seeking the removal of the co-personal representatives of the decedent spouse's estate.  The prenuptial agreement in question provided that the surviving spouse would "refrain from any action or proceeding to void or nullify to any extent the terms of any last will and testament or trust or testamentary substitute."  

The co-personal representatives argued that the above provision prevented the surviving spouse from seeking their removal. The spouse argued that the provision did not affect her rights she later acquired through subsequently executed estate planning documents, and that the waiver provisions did not extend to the interest she acquired in her husband's estate when she was named an income beneficiary of the marital trust created under the terms of his last will executed after the marital agreement.

The Court held that because the premarital agreement expressly provided that the parties would not challenge "any" last will and testamentary trust, the parties clearly contemplated documents executed after the agreement.  Thus, the wife was prevented from seeking to nullify the terms of her husband's last will by seeking the removal of the co-personal representatives named in the will.


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