In the case of In re Estate of Greiff, the court was asked to determine if a prenuptial agreement that limited what a surviving spouse inherited was fair. The decision turned on who had the burden of proof of showing unfairness.
Helen Greiff (plaintiff) and Herman Greiff married when Helen was 65 and Herman was 77. The Greiffs signed reciprocal prenuptial agreements that waived their respective surviving spousal rights in the event of the death of the other. Herman’s will left his entire estate to his children from a prior marriage (the children) (defendants). After Herman died, Helen filed a petition seeking a spousal share of Herman’s estate. The children objected based on the prenuptial agreements.