Although prenuptial agreements are becoming more commonplace ahead of first marriages, people who are marrying for the second time should also consider this kind of estate planning tool.
A prenup is almost unbreakable, but it must be highly detailed.
More information is better
A prenuptial agreement can serve as protection for assets of all kinds, from your valuable art collection to the family business. However, in order to pass legal scrutiny in court, a prenup must contain plenty of detail. You should document every asset as well as every separate property item you own, such as the vintage ’79 Jaguar XJ6 you bought after your divorce and months before you began to consider marrying again.
Part of a good estate plan
By the time most people start thinking about a second marriage, they are older, they have more earning power and their assets have increased. Many also have children by the first marriage to consider when it comes to estate planning. If you are a member of this group, you want to be sure that you can pass assets along to your children without any sort of objection or argument from a disgruntled or greedy family member. A prenuptial agreement works like another layer of protection for the instructions in your will and the contents of your trust.
How to prepare
You should develop your prenuptial agreement before you begin making plans for your wedding so that you can put this task behind you and enjoy the big event. Both you and your intended should provide the attorney drafting the document with complete financial records. If you are in doubt about certain possessions and whether you should include them, ask for help from an arbiter. Once you marry, use care in commingling funds. In a second marriage, property ownership should mirror the contents of the prenup.
All about clarity
Estate planning professionals say that you can never have enough documentation to ensure the equitable distribution of assets if the marriage breaks up. You also want to know that your wishes will be carried out as you direct if you should pass away. A prenup provides security and peace mind, but you and your soon-to-be-spouse should both be very clear about the significance of signing such an agreement.