Prenuptial Agreements When Family Wealth Is at Issue

Californians who are considering marriage usually have a lot on their minds. They may worry about the marriage ceremony itself, the coming together of two families, or even the expectation of a baby. However, another major and common concern amongst these individuals is money. Whether solidly middle class or wealthy, parties to a pending marriage may be concerned about what will happen to the wealth they have accumulated in the event that the relationship doesn’t work out.

Prenuptial agreements provide a great opportunity for these individuals to protect their financial assets from property division in the event of divorce. Although the couple may consider entering into one of these agreements, sometimes parents also try to talk their children into entering into these before marriage. The reason is simple: to preserve family wealth. This can happen when a family has a lot of cash, homes, or businesses, although one doesn’t have to be wealthy to consider this option.

There are essentially two ways to look at a prenuptial agreement when family wealth is at issue. The first way to view it is simply as ensuring that the child is able to have the money to which he or she is entitled in the event that the marriage ends. The second is an approach that looks at family wealth as a legacy. Here, a prenuptial agreement can be seen as a way to ensure that a marrying party, as well as his or her children, are able to retain the wealth that they would be entitled to if the marriage had never occurred in the first place.

Looking at family wealth and the potential for inheritances can complicate the marriage process and make the necessity of a prenuptial agreement even more apparent. However, it can be a difficult issue to discuss with a future spouse. This is why many Californians turn to skilled attorneys for help with developing legal documents that are sound, provide adequate protection, and are created with an eye on hoping for the best but preparing for the worst

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