The average marriage age is 32 years old, and couples are waiting almost five years before deciding to tie the knot. Basically, young adults are no longer getting married, and most of the people getting married each year are adults with personal assets, debts, and nearly a decade of adult life under their belt before marrying. Even after waiting years to decide, not every marriage will survive. With so many couples entering into marriage with careers, assets, and other concerns, prenuptial agreements are becoming more necessary than ever before. Prenuptial agreements or prenups have a bad reputation as a tool of the greedy, but they can also be a tool of the responsible. For many couples, there are reasons for prenuptial agreements that aren’t so much about money as they’re about planning and insurance.
A prenuptial agreement can be used to:
- Denote what will or will not qualify as marital property
- Include an estate plan for children from a previous marriage
- Protect inherited property or assets attained before marriage
- Define and denote any verbal agreements
A prenuptial agreement can act as part of your overall estate plan. If you die, your prenup can outline how you wish your assets to pass on to your spouse. Unlike a will, your heirs cannot make changes to your prenup. So, if your adult children disagree with your marriage to a new spouse, you can outline what assets belong to your new spouse upon your death. Your children will likely have less success arguing against your prenuptial agreement in court than they will have protesting your will.
Benefits of Prenuptial Agreements
Some couples feel like a prenup can strengthen their relationship because the assets or money and things become insignificant because you have defined that portion of your relationship. Disagreements about finances top the reasons for divorce and animosity within a relationship, so taking that problem off the table can help tremendously. While there are many benefits to drafting a prenuptial agreement, it bears mentioning that many people find them problematic.
Prenups are perceived negatively for many reasons, but mostly because people believe they send the wrong message, like:
- Signifies a Lack of Commitment
- Negative Process
Even if these negative connotations are held by the public, many couples benefit from legal provisions of prenuptial agreements. Prenuptial agreements provide protection for couples with assets they hope to safeguard should the marriage fail. There are assets that a couple may not want to be considered as part of the marital estate, so a prenup could help to clear up any confusion. Additionally, a prenup can also protect children from previous marriages or relationships. Prenuptial agreements can be very beneficial for blended families with children on either side. Unprotected children could be disinherited if an agreement isn’t in place when their parent dies, and the new spouse inherits the entire lot. So, prenups can be a great way to protect the interest of children in blended unions.
Palmer Rodak & Associates can help create an estate plan that clearly outlines your wishes. Call us today at (760) 573-2223 to schedule a consultation.