Valentine’s Day always makes me think of love, romance — and prenups. Preparing an agreement about how to split assets upon divorce, before you are even married, may not really be the most romantic idea to have on February 14, or ever, but I consider prenups a true act of love that can impact the next generations of your family.
Prenups are useful to any couple who are about to tie the knot, but I think they are essential if you earn significant income, have a lot of assets or are remarrying, particularly if there are children from previous marriages.
Marriage means business
Marriage is the biggest business decision you will likely ever make. How’s that for romance?
In addition to love and maybe children, married couples are actually bound by both state and federal laws governing disposition of their assets upon divorce. Marriage is considered a legal contract.
That’s why I encourage couples planning to marry to consider a prenup. Later, it can become part of your estate plan so that stipulations set out in the prenup are implemented in all your life planning documents.
The reason I think about prenups on Valentine’s Day is that at Relevé, we are strategic planners who understand the value of planning for as many eventualities as possible. The biggest financial commitment of your life deserves this level of attention.
Prenups can help both partners protect their assets, business or inheritance. They can also codify responsibility for debts incurred during the marriage and potentially help avoid expensive litigation in case of divorce or a contested will.
Don’t make the same mistake committed by the world’s richest couple. Jeff and McKenzie Bezos are divorcing—without a prenup.