A lot of what we as estate planners do is help you protect your assets: We help you protect your assets for your children when you die, we help you protect your assets when you are elderly and need long term or nursing care, we help you protect your business or investment assets from frivolous law suits… but we can also help you protect your assets during marriage.
“During marriage?” you may ask, “Why would I need to protect my assets during marriage? I would trust my spouse with my life.” This may be true (in fact, we very much hope it is true) but statistics show that more than 50% of marriages end in divorce, yet according to this article by Robin Epstein and Amy Epstein Feldman only 3% of marrying couples bother to create a prenuptial agreement. The low number may speak for the optimism of marrying couples, but not for their common sense.
A prenuptial agreement is not an admission that you don’t really think your marriage is going to work. On the contrary, prenuptial agreements can be useful in many situations, not just in cases of divorce. If you are entering into a second marriage and have children from a previous marriage a prenuptial agreement is absolutely essential to ensure that your children are entitled to any assets you bring from your previous marriage. If you or your fiancé comes to the relationship with heavy debts a prenuptial agreement can ensure that your marriage doesn’t begin under the weight of all that debt. And a prenuptial agreement can be a precursor to your eventual estate planning.
If you are planning a wedding in the near future, our firm can help answer any questions you may have about prenuptial agreements without any obligation. But really, knowing the many ways a prenup can protect you, your spouse, and your children—is there any reason not to have one?