Why All Love-Birds Should Discuss a Prenup
Getting engaged to be married is one of the most important and exciting things in one's life. Although planning for the wedding can be stressful, it is still an experience to be enjoyed and savored. And while many people are skittish about legal planning for a new marriage, it's an important aspect of Nuptial Planning that must be done. Sure it is not the most romantic part of wedding planning, but it doesn't have to be a negative experience and can actually serve to solidify your relationship.
Beyond getting in touch with your financial and family values as a couple, the investment you make in your marital foundation with proper legal planning can save you from heartache in the future; whether the marriage unfortunately fails, or one spouse dies. And once your foundational planning is done, you'll be able to spend less energy on worrying about the contingencies of marriage, and focus on enjoying this new stage in your lives.
The negative connotations related to pre-nuptial agreements are misconceived. Legal planning for your marriage is about being prepared and creating a strong marital and familial foundation. When working on any kind of nuptial agreement, you have the chance to talk about financial issues in a neutral and constructive environment. This conversation will serve as an opportunity to establish guidelines and avoid future misunderstandings, as well as a learning experience on handling money as a couple.
Of course there are also several other legal and financial benefits that are enjoyed through prenuptial agreements and Nuptial Planning. Prenups are good because they preserve the expectations of the parties and prevent surprises in case of a divorce. They are also key to protecting each spouses assets and occassionally, the assets of a spouse's family. One scenario I've seen countless times is when a future spouse owes their parents money ( whether for school loans, mortgages, etc.) but do not have a note to evidence the transaction. Without a prenuptial agreement (and potentially a corresponding estate plan), the parent's investment or loan may be lost in a divorce or death.
Another common issue occurs when one spouse moves into another spouses home. Marriage triggers important rights for spouses in Florida. Those rights include Homestead rights to the marital home regardless of whether one spouse's name is on the deed. If you own your home and want to make sure that the property remains yours through divorce, a prenuptial agreement is the only way your spouse can waive those homestead rights.
And newlywed planning is not just about premarital agreements. Newlywed planning involves the most significant aspects of estate planning such as setting up trusts to protect each spouses assets, and maximizing asset protection for the benefit of the marriage and the family as a whole. This is even more important for blended families. If you have children from a previous relationship, a prenuptial agreement is key to ensuring that your assets are protected and preserved for your children appropriately. Blended families truly get the most out of Nuptial Planning because the complex family dynamics involved can be discussed and addressed actively rather than reactively during a dire circumstance down the line.
You should also know that the further from the wedding date the prenuptial agreement is signed, the better. Most attorneys won't touch a prenuptial agreement if the wedding date is even two months away due to legality and preparation issues. So, although Wedding season is several months away, Nuptial Planning season is now.
All in all, getting your legal and financial house in order in anticipation of a wedding is not a negative affair. Rather, you are setting yourself and your family up for success.
If you're recently engaged or planning a wedding, call our office at (305) 860-8338 to get your Nuptial Planning started.