If you’re thinking about having a prenup drawn up before you tie the knot in Cobb County or elsewhere in metro Atlanta, you may want to find an attorney who focuses on estate planning, too. Perhaps surprisingly to some, a prenuptial agreement can be a key piece of estate planning documentation. Many couples in metro Atlanta see the importance of creating a binding prenuptial agreement in order to protect their assets and plan for their future.
Today, blended families are far from unusual. During the newlywed planning phase, the couple needs to consider what happens to “yours, mine, and ours” in the event of divorce, as well as death. You may each have certain items or financial support that you want designated specifically for your own biological children, and a prenup in combination with estate planning documents is used to make these wishes known.
This is also the case when older couples marry. They may each have their own grown children and grandchildren that they wish to provide for. Without the proper agreements, a surviving spouse will often become default heir to the other’s estate, allowing the spouse to do with it whatever he or she sees fit. It could be perfectly legal for the deceased spouse’s children to inherit nothing.
Working with an Atlanta area prenup lawyer before exchanging vows can help to clarify each partner’s wishes, as well as to provide legal documentation. Simply discussing your preferences is not enough, either. To be binding, the prenuptial agreement must be in writing, and both spouses must sign it. In fact, it is necessary for each spouse to take the appropriate amount of time to read the entire document to ensure that he or she agrees with it and is not being pressured into signing something.
A prenup that seems grossly unfair to one spouse or the other may not hold up in court, so this step is pretty important. Some states even require that each party is advised by his or her own prenup lawyer rather than sharing the same attorney. If one spouse omits information or outright lies about it in the prenup, that can also render it invalid.
While creating a prenuptial agreement may not be the most romantic way to go into a marriage, it can be important from an estate planning point of view. It allows you to plan for the future and to designate your own heirs. Some people who skipped this step are now coming to prenup lawyers to request “post-nuptial agreements.” These documents work quite similarly to the prenuptial agreement but are simply done after the wedding is over. It’s best not to wait, but if you have to, a metro Atlanta prenup lawyer can still get the ball rolling for you.
If you’re ready to get started with this process, we invite you to call our office at 770.425.6060 and ask to schedule a free Georgia Family Treasures Planning Session ( a $750 value).
A marriage is not only a union of love and families; it’s also about combining of money and property. This might not be an issue if both partners are young and have own little yet, but if either spouse (or both spouses) is more successful, with a career or business of their own, a prenuptial agreement is especially important. A prenuptial agreement may also be wise if one spouse has children (or assets, or debt) from a prior relationship, or is expecting an inheritance.
Despite popular opinion, a prenuptial agreement is not only for the rich and famous. Further, a prenuptial agreement doesn’t mean you believe your marriage will fail. This article in the Huffington Post lists and discusses 10 reasons why a prenuptial agreement is a good idea—and none of those reasons is “You don’t think your marriage can survive.” The article lists the following reasons why you should consider a prenuptial agreement:
- Writing A Prenup Can Help You Learn More About Each Other
- Failing to Discussing Financial Issues Can Doom A Relationship
- Separate Property Should Often Remain So After a Marriage
- Potential Spousal Support Liabilities Are Often Encourage an Early Exit
- Divorce Is Expensive
- The Prenuptial Agreement Keeps Peace In The Family
- Financial Independence Creates A Happier Relationship
- Prenuptial Agreements May Provide Freedom From The Other’s Debts
- The Law Is Not Always Fair
- Expectations Are Addressed In Advance
Regardless of your age or position in life, entering into a prenuptial agreement before you walk down the aisle can benefit your family, your money, and your marriage. Don’t let preconceived ideas about prenups and the rich and famous prevent you from protecting your assets. Talk to your beloved and consult with your attorney before you take the plunge into marital bliss.
These days, Hollywood is buzzing from some high-profile divorces. [Last November], Britney Spears filed for divorce from her two-year marriage to Kevin Federline, whose nickname has gone from "K-Fed" to "Fed-Ex." On the heels of that news, a day later, actors Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe also filed for divorce.
The difference between the two: Witherspoon did not have a prenuptial agreement, and Phillippe will likely have a claim to a substantial portion of her $60 million estimated net worth. The estimated $29 million in earnings from her next film may also be at stake — her ex could get half.
But Spears did have a prenuptial agreement. In fact, it was a 60-page agreement that protects most of her estimated $100 million fortune. Britney could get away with paying Federline a measly $300,000, which he says he is owed, plus $30,000 a month for half the number of years they were married, which would amount to one year. That’s pocket change for Britney. He is also contesting "communal property," but Britney and her lawyers are claiming that there isn’t any.