Prenuptial Agreements, Part of Every Good Estate Plan

Once an uncomfortable matter to bring up, the Prenuptial Agreement is fast becoming just another check off on the pre-wedding to-do list.  Couples now marry later in life and are more likely to have accumulated assets that they wish were protected.  Further, both people are more likely to have careers and want to protect their future income and investments. These factors, along with the subject being more every day on TV and in the movies, make Prenups a natural part of every estate plan.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenup is a binding contract between two people planning to marry.  In the same way that two business partners might negotiate an agreement, an attorney can only represent one party.  

What does a Prenuptial Agreement Address?

Typically, a prenuptial agreement addresses what happens if the marriage ends in divorce and what happens if one of the two people dies. Without a deal, the states’ default rules apply.  Each state has laws that cover divorce and the rights of a surviving spouse when they have failed to form a prenup. Rather than using the state’s “one-size-fits-all” regulations, a prenuptial agreement allows the two people to arrive at a mutually beneficial arrangement.  Each couple has unique concerns, and the prenuptial contract will enable them to address these concerns.

Can a Prenuptial Agreement be Updated?

Like any agreement, the parties can choose to update and modify the terms.  Like updating a Will, the spouses should review the terms every five years or so.  Life moves on; new assets accumulate, children are born, and careers advance or decline.  After five years conditions fair in the past might need adjustments.  As long as both parties agree, the prenup can be updated to reflect current conditions.

Who Drafts the Prenuptial Agreement?

Typically, one person or the other will retain an Estate Attorney to make an initial draft. The other person is given this initial draft and is free to have their lawyer review and edit the agreement.  If necessary, terms are negotiated.  Once both sides are satisfied, the document is signed.

In conclusion, this post is a short introduction to a critical and complex issue.  Contact an experienced Prenup Lawyer such as the Philadelphia Prenup Attorney in your area to find out what plan best fits your needs.

Thanks to Author Peter Klenk, Esq. for insight into Estate Planning.


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