When a couple is approaching marriage, the last thing they probably want to discuss is the topic of prenuptial agreements. The topic is not easy to bring up and may make someone feel that their soon-to-be spouse already anticipates their marriage failing. However, in reality, the topic of prenuptial agreements can help to ease anxieties about unfortunate circumstances that can arise such as death or divorce.
If one of the individuals that is getting married has a high net worth, a prenuptial agreement may be more often considered since there is so much more at stake in this type of marriage. Having a good premarital agreement means understanding and recognizing the rights, assets, debts, and income of a future spouse, especially in the case of high net worth individuals. If an agreement is something that you are considering, and if you or your soon-to-be spouse is considered a high net worth individual, below are some Q&As to help:
- Is a prenuptial agreement necessary simply because of my or my soon-to-be-spouse’s net worth?
Prenuptial agreements are not for everyone, but the topic is one to consider if entering a high net worth marriage. While it is certainly unromantic to discuss and negotiate a prenuptial agreement between the time of your engagement and the wedding, an agreement can save a lot of heartache and money if you are one day faced with a high net worth divorce where all of your assets will need to be distributed. These agreements can address property division, spousal support, and virtually every financial issue that may arise during a divorce, as well as estate planning in the event of death.
- Is it possible to create a marital agreement after being married?
If you are already in a high net worth marriage and wish to have something in place like a premarital agreement, a postnuptial agreement may be a valid option. For many high net worth couples, entering into a postnuptial agreement can help ensure that, in the event of divorce or death, that each spouse or their family exits a marriage with a fair distribution of holdings. Contact an experienced divorce attorney to learn more.
- Will my prenuptial agreement be more involved due to high net worth?
Since high net worth marriages include many additional assets as compared to typical marriages, there will likely be many additional items included in a prenuptial agreement for high net worth individuals. Common items include waiver of estate rights, waiver of rights under the Divorce Code, distribution of property, exclusive occupancy of your home, legal fees and expenses, debts, insurance, retirement benefits, support, alimony, and tax issues.
RELATED: Read more about what you need to know about prenups.
- How do I go about drafting a prenuptial agreement for my high net worth marriage?
Creating a premarital agreement is not a routine exercise, especially for high net worth marriages, and the laundry list of items that need to be taken into consideration can be overwhelming. If done without the help of a legal professional, important items can be overlooked or omitted and the result can affect you and your family long term. We highly recommend having an attorney assist you with your agreement to ensure it meets the requirements of Pennsylvania law, is therefore binding and enforceable, and that all protections are provided. Contact an experienced attorney to help you draft and implement a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
If you are entering a high net worth marriage, or are already in a high net worth marriage, and are wondering if a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is right for you and your spouse, we hope these Q&As help to shed some light on your situation.
Do you have questions about this information, or would you like more information about how our law firm can help you create a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement? Contact us online or call us at 412-261-4040.
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