An individual who wishes to protect his or her own assets and family wealth has a choice to make as a marriage approaches. Prenuptial agreements are one tool that many people choose to use to help them protect income and inheritance, as well as set some nonfinancial guidelines. In Florida, some wealthy families choose to make the prenuptial agreement part of a family estate plan so all children participate, and also to avoid the awkwardness that can sometimes come with bringing up a conversation about prenups with an adult child’s future spouse.
The experts seem to agree on certain best practices for these type of premarital agreements. Those guidelines include that both individual parties would have independent legal representation, that the conversation about the agreement begin well before the wedding day and that a full disclosure (or an explicit agreement not to disclose) of all liabilities and assets of both parties take place. The backbone of a prenup will begin with the specific state laws on marital property. From there, the individual can choose to include many types of considerations.
Some common nonfinancial considerations typically deal with children’s upbringing, education and religion. Financial considerations include, but are not limited to, a full disclosure of assets and debts each party will bring to the marriage, how income tax filing will be handled, how assets will be distributed after death, assigning certain financial responsibilities and future spousal support. For certain high-asset individuals concerned about passing the family wealth, making an estate plan with a contingency that the child use a prenup can make the situation less awkward for the engaged child.
Prenuptial agreements can be a useful tool, and probably shouldn’t be associated with such stigma. Used properly, the document can potentially strengthen a family and preserve wealth. In Florida, a person attempting to draft a prenuptial agreement may choose to do so with the aid of an experienced attorney.
Source: wealthmanagement.com, “So Your Client Is Getting Married…“, Marvin Blum, Feb. 5, 2018