Wait, what!? He asked you to sign a prenup!? How dare he!
When I think about a prenuptial agreement (“prenup”), my first thought is of some intrusive grandmother forcing this legal document on her grandson’s fiancée in order to marry into their uber-rich family. Okay, so maybe that's just in the movies (and the East Hamptons or Beverly Hills)!
Discussing a prenup with your intended spouse or life partner is not always a bad thing and does not have to be scary or presumptive. Oftentimes, having this conversation early may prove to be a great first step in understanding each other’s wants and needs leading into the marriage.
What is a Prenup?
In its most traditional sense, a prenup is a legal agreement entered into between two people before they get married that helps protect the property and assets that each person brings into the marriage and to control the division and distribution of each person’s property and assets in the event of a divorce.
More recently, prenups also cover the topics of incapacity, death, future estate planning, student loan debt, division of income, property and assets acquired during the marriage, and a variety of other legal issues.
Benefits of a Prenup
A prenup can be useful prior to a second or third marriage where one or both of the parties has children from a previous marriage and wants to ensure those children are not left out of any inheritance. Another reason to enter into a prenup could be that the parties, in the event of a divorce, do not want to leave the distribution of their property and assets to the unfavorable laws of divorce. And, more commonly, when one party has considerably more assets and wealth than the other.
As with any other legal document, using a DIY or pre-printed prenup is risky and you should always consult with an estate planning attorney to ensure your specific goals and all legal requirements are met.
If you want to learn more about prenuptial agreements offered by my law office, please contact me today!