Question: Im a 68-year-old added about to get married. I accept three affiliated accouchement and six grandchildren and own cogent absolute estate, business and banking assets. Do I charge a prenuptial agreement?
Answer: Prenuptial agreements (often referred to as prenup) are no best aloof for the wealthy. Traditionally, prenuptial agreements accept been acclimated to assure the assets of a decidedly well-off-spouse-to-be in a marriage. However, today with the aerial annulment rate, individuals of added bashful agency accept been axis to prenups, as well. Statistics appearance that 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce.
Some family-law attorneys advance that, in best instances, two adolescent bodies actuality affiliated for the aboriginal time with basal assets are not candidates for a premarital agreement. Where there is a likelihood that one or both of the individuals are acceptable to be the almsman of abundant adeptness and inheritances, a prenuptial acceding could be meaningful.
But back there is a added alliance or a antecedent accord in which one of the parties has acquired abundant assets in an beforehand alliance or relationship, and there are accouchement of the aboriginal alliance or relationship, there is a aitionist change in the bearings presented. In best cases, that alone will appetite to assure those beforehand acquired assets for the account of his or her children. The aforementioned protections would be activated to a bearings in which one of the parties has cogent assets acquired above-mentioned to the alliance and wants to be assertive that he or she is entering a abiding relationship, after jeopardizing any assets if expectations are not fulfilled.
What happens, then, in the accident of a partys afterlife or dissolution of the marriage, charge be addressed with specificity in the prenuptial agreement.
What is a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial acceding — sometimes alleged a premarital agreement, a premarital arrangement or a prenup — is a arrangement fabricated amid two individuals in apprehension of marriage. General arrangement rules administer to prenuptial agreements, including the claim that an acceding be accounting and active by approaching spouses.
Prenuptial agreements charge accommodate acknowledged elements. Best important, the parties charge accommodate acknowledgment of their bread-and-er circumstances. These agreements charge be customized to the spouses. One admeasurement does not fit all.
If customized, activity can be diminished, alike avoided, as to the compassionate of any accurate appellation and condition. A prenuptial acceding may dness costs during alliance (e.g., actuality a caregiver and health-care) keep aloft divorce, and the analysis of acreage and debts aloft afterlife or divorce.
Who needs one?
One of the parties is decidedly wealthier than the added and seeks to assure some or all of that wealth.
One or both parties owns a business or is complex in a ancestors business and wants to assure the business (and the added ancestors associates complex in that business) from conjugal claims.
One or both parties has accouchement from a above-mentioned alliance or accord and wishes to canyon assertive acreage to such accouchement aloft such partys death.
What it cannot do
A prenuptial acceding cannot dness any of the afterward issues: the religious accomplishments of children, acting keep paid while a annulment is awaiting or child-custody issues.
Enforcement by accompaniment courts
Pennsylvania courts accept captivated that unless there has been fraud, bribery or duress, the accoutrement of a premarital acceding are bounden aloft the parties. Unless there are threats of absolute actual harm, there is no bondage if the application affair was chargeless to argue with counsel.
Parenthetically, there is no claim that the acceding be fair to either or both parties. The actuality that a affair active the acceding is affirmation that the affair believed the accoutrement were fair.
There is no claim for a application affair to be represented by counsel. But pay aing absorption to the acumen of attorneys Carol A. Behrs and Robert Raphael, accustomed as experts in premarital agreements in Pennsylvania:
Caveat: Each affair to a premarital acceding should be represented by abstracted counsel. It would be adventuresome to attack to represent both parties, agreeable a approaching abuse action. The drafting advocate should accommodated alone with his or her client, alike if the added affair elects not to use counsel. If one affair is unrepresented, the advocate should communicate, in writing, with his or her applicant only.
Prenuptial agreements can be complicated, and you adeptness charge the advice of an advocate to accept what you are accepting into.
Advice to earlier couples
Older couples adeptness appetite to assure accouchement from a above-mentioned alliance or assure the adeptness of the one with bottom assets to go into a nursing home and not accord aggregate over.
Summarily, any brace that brings claimed or business assets to the alliance can account from a prenup. The best basal of these affairs lists an account of premarital assets that in the accident of annulment will abide the acreage of their aboriginal owner. The agreements can additionally specify that approaching assets from a business or added assets accrued through bequest are not to be aggregate with your apron if the alliance should end.
But, of course, the ability of a prenuptial acceding is that it is an allowance action that, hopefully, neither affair will accept to use.
Special acknowledgment to attorneys Behers and Raphael for their addition to this column.
To ask a acknowledged question, email [email protected] or accelerate mail to Ask Advocate Bernie, c/o Beaver County Times, 400 Fair Ave., Beaver, PA 15009.
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