Approaching Prenuptial Agreements In Terms Of Family Legacy
In a nutshell, a prenuptial agreement is a legal document that lays out how certain assets will be handled after marriage and/or in the event of divorce. When most people think of prenuptial agreements, they think of agreements entered into by rich Hollywood stars or big business owners prior to marriage in order to ensure that certain assets are protected.
However, there is another side – or need – to enter into prenuptial agreements, and that involves family legacies and certain types of inheritance and property that families want to ensure stay within the family. This is because prenuptial agreements do not just address financial wealth – they can include so much more. As a result, it can be necessary for some parents and others to discuss these issues with their adult children in order to ensure that specific legacies, wishes, etc. – such as the family business or real estate, or any assets with high emotional value – are inherited as intended.
Broaching the Topic
One approach that some families take is to discuss prenuptial agreements as just a “given,” or “just what our family does.” Others approach is to describe prenups as a means of ensuring that money is taken off the table, so to speak, so that a relationship can exist on its own based on love and friendship. And yet another potential approach is to simply have an open, honest conversation about your philosophy on succession of ownership of family assets, ensuring that all feelings and concerns are put on the table such that desired outcomes are made clear to all parties involved in the conversation.
Topics to Discuss
In these conversations, topics often broached include what a prenuptial agreement would ideally accomplish in your particular circumstances, what concerns you have about a potential future marriage, who will be making final decisions, and how any in-laws will be included in terms of family wealth.
Once family members are on the same page with these initial topics, additional discussion can occur concerning these questions:
- What do you see as the purpose of inheritance for your future generations?
- Are there specific dreams you have for the future of your family?
- What methods or tools can be used that would allow your children to maintain their inheritance separately without having this negatively affect their marriage? (This topic your family law attorney can help you with)
- What obstacles could come up in the pursuit of a prenuptial agreement?
Let Us Help You Today
Many find that it is more useful to have this conversation early on, as broaching it once your child is already in a serious relationship can sometimes trigger sensitivities and defensiveness.
Our Rockland County prenuptial agreement attorneys at the Law Office of Robert S. Sunshine, P.C. are prepared to assist you with any and all prenuptial agreement and family law needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.