Why Should You Consider a Prenup before Your Wedding?

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KS and MO Attorney Kyle E Krull

Written by Kyle Krull

Attorney & Counsellor at Law Kyle Krull is president of the Law Offices of Kyle E. Krull, P.A., an Estate Planning Law Firm located in Overland Park, KS. Estate Planning Attorney Kyle Krull has provided continuing education instruction to attorneys, accountants, and financial professionals at local, state, and national programs.

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POSTED ON: July 11, 2024

A prenup can provide clarity about financial responsibilities in the future.

A prenup can benefit those getting married, especially after establishing their careers.

Marriage trends have changed significantly in America in the last century.

Understatement.

People used to marry right out of high school or college.

In fact, Gretchen and I were freshly graduated from the University of Kansas.

While divorce was uncommon in the Greatest Generation, it became increasingly popular with the Baby Boomers.

It is now common for children to grow up in a divorced or blended family.

Millennials and Gen Z are marrying later or choosing to cohabitate.

An intact, original, married nuclear family is a growing exception and no longer the rule.

Yikes!

For those remarrying or delaying marriage until their careers are established, a prenuptial agreement can be helpful protection.

According to the American Bar Association, prenups can clarify goals and assets.

A prenup can protect both spouses.

A prenup should be discussed well before you exchange vows.

What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract between two individuals entering a marriage.

This agreement outlines the handling of debts and assets before and after marriage.

It commonly addresses investments, property, and future earnings.

Are Prenuptial Agreements Only for the Wealthy?

When people think of prenuptial agreements, they often think of gold diggers preying on the famous and wealthy.

While a prenup can undoubtedly protect the wealthy against opportunists, this agreement is not only for the rich.

Anyone entering a marriage with assets can benefit from protecting their financial interests.

Why Do Prenups Still Feel Taboo?

Many people think of prenuptial agreements as negative.

According to Sky News, financial discussions before marriage can feel unromantic or seem to indicate a lack of trust.

Despite the initial resistance, many people find prenups to be beneficial.

A Story of Prenups and Peace of Mind

Consider the story mentioned in the above Sky News article.

Olivia and Leo fell in love and decided to marry.

Both were previously married and had children from these marriages.

Additionally, Olivia started and ran her own business.

Leo and Olivia decided to create a prenup to protect their financial interests.

As a result, both had peace of mind regarding their finances, future, and family.

What Should Be Included in a Prenup?

A prenuptial agreement can address anything related to financial matters.

If you are planning to utilize a prenuptial agreement, consider these categories.

Property Ownership.

Those remarrying or marrying later often have their own personal assets.

Do one or both parties own homes or have substantial savings?

Outline who owns what and the division of assets in the event of divorce.

Debts.

While people come into relationships with assets, they often also carry debts.

These can include student loans, mortgages, and auto loans.

Decide before marriage how these debts will be paid and handled.

Inheritance.

If you inherit from your grandparents or another relative, you likely want to keep the money or property within your family line.

Put provisions in place to protect inheritances from divorce.

Business Interests.

If you own all or part of a business, this livelihood could be destroyed through divorce proceedings.

Protect yourself and your business partners with a prenup.

Financial Responsibilities.

Discuss how finances will be managed during marriage.

Will you contribute equally to purchases and investments from your separate or combined accounts?

How to Discuss a Prenup with Your Partner?

While broaching the subject of a prenuptial agreement can be uncomfortable, it is also necessary.

Start Early.

Do not wait for the wedding week to discuss a prenup.

You should have these conversations as soon as you begin planning the ceremony.

Be Honest.

Your future spouse should understand your financial situation.

Share your history and any concerns you have with them.

Focus on the Future.

A prenuptial agreement is an essential step in planning for the future.

Having discussions about finances can prevent arguments and surprises down the road.

Plan For Peace of Mind with a Prenup

Prenuptial agreements can be essential to estate planning for business owners and blended families.

They allow you to protect the interests of your spouse, business partners, and children from previous relationships.

What Key Takeaways Should You Understand about Prenuptial Agreements?

Prenuptial agreements can clarify debts, assets, and responsibilities for couples.

They can help protect the assets of both partners.

Finances can be a heated topic for many couples.

Having a prenup can prevent arguments during marriage and court battles during a divorce.

In conclusion, starting a marriage open and honest about finances helps couples create a more stable future.

Postscript: I am thankful Gretchen and I never had to contemplate the subject of a prenup. When we exchanged vows, the only things we "owned" were our 1977 VW Rabbit and a brand-new student loan for law school!

This post is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal advice. You should contact an attorney for advice concerning any particular issue or problem. Nothing herein creates an attorney-client relationship between Harvest Law KC and the reader.

References: News.Sky (May 20 2024) "Prenuptial agreements are on the rise - so why do they still feel taboo?" and American Bar Association (May 1 2024) "What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?"

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