House File 2234 - Introduced HOUSE FILE 2234 BY COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY (SUCCESSOR TO HSB 557) A BILL FOR An Act relating to marital agreements, and including effective 1 date and applicability provisions. 2 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 3 TLSB 5585HV (2) 83 pf/rj
H.F. 2234 Section 1. Section 249A.3, subsection 11, paragraph d, Code 1 Supplement 2009, is amended to read as follows: 2 d. Unless a surviving spouse is precluded from making an 3 election under the terms of a premarital marital agreement as 4 defined in section 596.1 , the failure of a surviving spouse to 5 take an elective share pursuant to chapter 633, division V, 6 constitutes a transfer of assets for the purpose of determining 7 eligibility for medical assistance to the extent that the value 8 received by taking an elective share would have exceeded the 9 value of the inheritance received under the will. 10 Sec. 2. Section 596.1, Code 2009, is amended to read as 11 follows: 12 596.1 Definitions. 13 As used in this chapter: 14 1. “Marital agreement” means any of the following: 15 a. A premarital agreement. 16 b. An amendment to a premarital agreement made between 17 present spouses, but only relating to post-death matters. 18 c. An agreement or an amendment to an agreement between 19 present spouses, but only relating to post-death matters. 20 2. “Party” means a person who has entered into a marital 21 agreement. 22 1. 3. “Premarital agreement” means an agreement between 23 prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be 24 effective upon marriage. 25 4. “Post-death matter” includes but is not limited to the 26 disposition of the parties’ individually or jointly owned 27 assets upon the death of either or both parties; the making of 28 a will, trust, or other arrangements for the disposition of 29 property upon the death of either or both parties; ownership 30 rights in life insurance policies and retirement plans and the 31 disposition of the death benefits of any such policy or plan; 32 and the limitation or expansion of spousal elective shares 33 pursuant to chapter 633, division V. 34 2. 5. “Property” means an interest, present or future, 35 -1- LSB 5585HV (2) 83 pf/rj 1/ 8
H.F. 2234 legal or equitable, vested or contingent, in real or personal 1 property , including income and earnings . 2 Sec. 3. Section 596.2, Code 2009, is amended to read as 3 follows: 4 596.2 Construction and application. 5 This chapter shall be construed and applied to effectuate 6 its general purpose to make uniform the law with respect to 7 premarital agreements . 8 Sec. 4. Section 596.3, Code 2009, is amended to read as 9 follows: 10 596.3 Short title. 11 This chapter may be cited as the “Iowa Uniform Premarital 12 Marital Agreement Act” . 13 Sec. 5. Section 596.4, Code 2009, is amended to read as 14 follows: 15 596.4 Formalities. 16 1. A premarital marital agreement must be in writing and 17 must be signed by both prospective spouses. It parties. 18 2. A marital agreement between present spouses must be 19 signed by both parties prior to the filing of an action for 20 dissolution of marriage, for legal separation, or for separate 21 maintenance. 22 3. A marital agreement is enforceable without consideration 23 other than the marriage . 24 4. Both parties to the a marital agreement shall must 25 execute all documents necessary to enforce the agreement. 26 Sec. 6. Section 596.5, Code 2009, is amended to read as 27 follows: 28 596.5 Content. 29 1. Parties Subject to the limitations of a marital agreement 30 between present spouses, which as specified in section 31 596.1, subsection 1, shall only relate to post-death matters, 32 parties to a premarital marital agreement may contract with 33 respect to the following: 34 a. The rights and obligations of each of the parties in any 35 -2- LSB 5585HV (2) 83 pf/rj 2/ 8
H.F. 2234 of the property of either or both of them whenever and wherever 1 acquired or located. 2 b. The right rights of possession, ownership, or control, 3 including but not limited to the rights to buy, sell, use, 4 transfer, make a gift of, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, 5 expend, assign, create a security interest in, mortgage, 6 encumber, dispose of, or otherwise manage and control property. 7 c. The disposition of property upon separation, dissolution 8 of the marriage, death, or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of 9 any other event. 10 d. The making of a will, trust, or other arrangement to 11 carry out the provisions of the marital agreement. 12 e. The ownership rights in and disposition of the death 13 benefit from a life insurance policy and the establishment of 14 rights of beneficiaries to the benefits of such policy . 15 f. The rights and obligations in benefits available or to be 16 available under an employee benefit or retirement plan, except 17 to the extent federal law prevents a binding agreement with 18 respect to such rights and obligations. 19 f. g. The choice of law governing the construction of the 20 marital agreement. 21 g. h. Any other matter, including the personal rights and 22 obligations of the parties, not in violation of public policy 23 or a statute imposing a criminal penalty. 24 2. A marital agreement is not enforceable unless the 25 agreement contains a statement of the types of rights that 26 could be affected by the marital agreement in an all capital 27 letter typeface and font size as large as the largest typeface 28 and font contained in the document. The following statement or 29 a statement of like import, contained within the document shall 30 be acceptable for this purpose: 31 “BE ADVISED, BY SIGNING THIS DOCUMENT, YOU MAY BE GIVING 32 UP LEGAL RIGHTS, SUCH AS THE RIGHTS TO OWN OR OCCUPY YOUR 33 HOMESTEAD, RIGHTS TO A STATUTORY SHARE OF YOUR SPOUSE’S ASSETS 34 UPON DEATH, RIGHTS TO COURT DETERMINATIONS OF DISTRIBUTIONS OF 35 -3- LSB 5585HV (2) 83 pf/rj 3/ 8
H.F. 2234 PROPERTY UPON DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE, AND OTHER RIGHTS YOU 1 MAY HAVE BY REASON OF MARRIAGE. YOU MAY ALSO BE EXPANDING OR 2 RESTRICTING THOSE TYPES OF RIGHTS OR EXPANDING OR RESTRICTING 3 THE COURT’S POWERS TO DETERMINE THESE ISSUES.” 4 2. 3. The right of a spouse or child to support , whether 5 during the lifetime or after the death of a party, shall not be 6 adversely affected by a premarital marital agreement. 7 Sec. 7. Section 596.6, Code 2009, is amended to read as 8 follows: 9 596.6 Effective date of agreement. 10 1. A premarital marital agreement becomes effective upon 11 the marriage , if signed by both of the parties prior to the 12 marriage . 13 2. If a marital agreement is signed by the parties during 14 their marriage, the marital agreement becomes effective on the 15 effective date stated in the marital agreement. If no such 16 effective date is stated in the marital agreement, the marital 17 agreement becomes effective upon the latest date of signature 18 by the parties. 19 Sec. 8. Section 596.7, Code 2009, is amended to read as 20 follows: 21 596.7 Revocation and amendment . 22 1. Revocation. After marriage, a premarital marital 23 agreement may be revoked , in whole or in part, only as follows: 24 1. a. By a written agreement signed by both spouses 25 parties . The revocation is enforceable without consideration. 26 2. b. To revoke a premarital By either party to the 27 marital agreement without the consent of the other 28 spouse party , the person seeking revocation must prove one 29 or more if the party seeking revocation proves any of the 30 following: 31 a. (1) The person party seeking revocation did not execute 32 the marital agreement voluntarily. 33 b. (2) The marital agreement was unconscionable when it 34 was executed. 35 -4- LSB 5585HV (2) 83 pf/rj 4/ 8
H.F. 2234 c. (3) Before the execution of the marital agreement the 1 person party seeking revocation was not provided a fair and 2 reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations 3 of the other spouse party ; and the person party seeking 4 revocation did not have, or reasonably could not have had, an 5 adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of 6 the other spouse party; and such disclosure would have been 7 material to the decision of the party seeking revocation to 8 execute the marital agreement . 9 (4) Before the execution of the marital agreement the party 10 seeking revocation was not given a reasonable opportunity to 11 obtain independent legal representation with respect to the 12 marital agreement. 13 c. If the revocation of one or more provisions of the 14 marital agreement, or the application of the revocation of such 15 a provision to a party is upheld by the court, any revoked 16 provision shall be severed from the remainder of the marital 17 agreement, unless the marital agreement states otherwise, and 18 shall not affect the remaining provisions. 19 2. Amendment. A marital agreement may be amended by 20 a written agreement signed by both parties. An amendment 21 is subject to the limitations of an amendment to a marital 22 agreement which, as specified in section 596.1, subsection 1, 23 shall only relate to post-death matters, and subject to the 24 enforcement provisions of section 596.8. 25 3. Limits on amendment and revocation. A marital 26 agreement cannot be amended or revoked by an agent, guardian, 27 conservator, or other legal representative of either party, or 28 after the death of either party, except as provided pursuant 29 to subsection 1, paragraph “b” , relating to revocation without 30 the consent of the other party. 31 Sec. 9. Section 596.8, Code 2009, is amended to read as 32 follows: 33 596.8 Enforcement. 34 1. A premarital marital agreement is not enforceable if the 35 -5- LSB 5585HV (2) 83 pf/rj 5/ 8
H.F. 2234 person or party against whom enforcement is sought proves any 1 of the following: 2 1. The person did not execute the agreement voluntarily. 3 2. The agreement was unconscionable when it was executed. 4 3. Before the execution of the agreement the person was 5 not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property 6 or financial obligations of the other spouse; and the person 7 did not have, or reasonably could not have had, an adequate 8 knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other 9 spouse that such person or party could have revoked the marital 10 agreement pursuant to section 596.7, subsection 1, paragraph 11 “b” , relating to revocation without consent of the other party . 12 2. If a provision one or more of the provisions of the 13 marital agreement or the application of the provision to a 14 party is found determined by the court to be unenforceable 15 pursuant to this section , the unenforceable provision shall be 16 severed from the remainder of the marital agreement , unless the 17 marital agreement states otherwise, and shall not affect the 18 remaining provisions , or application, of the agreement which 19 can be given effect without the unenforceable provision . 20 3. Other than the determination of the issue of 21 unconscionability, actions with respect to enforcement of a 22 marital agreement shall be decided by the court as a matter of 23 equity. 24 Sec. 10. Section 596.9, Code 2009, is amended to read as 25 follows: 26 596.9 Unconscionability. 27 In any action under this chapter to revoke or enforce a 28 premarital marital agreement the issue of unconscionability of 29 a premarital marital agreement shall be decided by the court 30 as a matter of law. 31 Sec. 11. Section 596.10, Code 2009, is amended to read as 32 follows: 33 596.10 Enforcement —— void marriage. 34 If a marriage is determined to be void, an agreement that 35 -6- LSB 5585HV (2) 83 pf/rj 6/ 8
H.F. 2234 would otherwise have been a premarital marital agreement 1 is enforceable only to the extent necessary to avoid an 2 inequitable result. 3 Sec. 12. Section 596.11, Code 2009, is amended to read as 4 follows: 5 596.11 Limitation of actions. 6 Any statute of limitations applicable to an action asserting 7 a claim for relief under a premarital marital agreement is 8 tolled during the marriage of the parties to the agreement . 9 However, equitable defenses limiting the time for enforcement, 10 including laches and estoppel, are available to either party. 11 Sec. 13. Section 596.12, Code 2009, is amended to read as 12 follows: 13 596.12 Effective date. 14 1. This As it relates to premarital agreements, this chapter 15 takes effect on January 1, 1992, and applies to any premarital 16 agreement executed on or after that date , in accordance 17 with the statutory provisions in effect as of the date of 18 the premarital agreement . This chapter does not affect the 19 validity under Iowa law of any premarital agreement entered 20 into prior to January 1, 1992. 21 2. As it relates to amendments to premarital agreements and 22 to marital agreements entered into after marriage, this chapter 23 takes effect July 1, 2010, and applies to any such amendments 24 or agreements executed on or after that date. 25 Sec. 14. Section 633.246A, Code 2009, is amended to read as 26 follows: 27 633.246A Medical assistance eligibility. 28 Unless precluded from doing so under the terms of a 29 premarital marital agreement as defined in section 596.1 , the 30 failure of a surviving spouse to make an election under this 31 division constitutes a transfer of assets for the purpose of 32 determining eligibility for medical assistance pursuant to 33 chapter 249A to the extent that the value received by making 34 the election would have exceeded the value of property received 35 -7- LSB 5585HV (2) 83 pf/rj 7/ 8
H.F. 2234 absent the election. 1 EXPLANATION 2 This bill amends Code chapter 596 (premarital agreements) 3 to allow for marital agreements which include premarital 4 agreements, certain amendments to premarital agreements, and 5 the creation of agreements or amendments to agreements between 6 present spouses. An amendment to a premarital agreement or an 7 agreement or amendment to an agreement between present spouses 8 is effective only to the extent it is limited to post-death 9 matters. The bill provides for protection of the parties 10 including that the agreement must not be unconscionable at the 11 time it is entered into; the agreement must include a provision 12 that states the rights a party may be giving up; an agent is 13 prohibited from amending or revoking a marital agreement on 14 behalf of a party; and unconscionability is determined by the 15 court as a matter of law while all other matters are determined 16 in equity. The bill provides for revocation and amendment of 17 marital agreements, places limits on amendments and revocations 18 of marital agreements, provides for enforcement, and makes 19 conforming changes. 20 The bill provides that as it relates to premarital 21 agreements, the amended Code chapter takes effect on January 1, 22 1992, and applies to any premarital agreement executed on or 23 after that date, in accordance with the statutory provisions 24 in effect as of the date of the premarital agreement. The bill 25 directs that the Code chapter does not affect the validity 26 under Iowa law of any premarital agreement entered into prior 27 to January 1, 1992. Additionally, the bill provides that as 28 the Code chapter relates to amendments to premarital agreements 29 and to marital agreements entered into after marriage, the 30 amended Code chapter takes effect July 1, 2010, and applies to 31 any such amendments or agreements executed on or after that 32 date. 33 -8- LSB 5585HV (2) 83 pf/rj 8/ 8