Love, Relationships and Finance: Prenuptual Agreements pt. 6

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We’ve been married for more than 20 years and so much about our financial situation has changed since we first drew up our prenuptial agreement. Should we change the pre-nup or should we just dissolve it? It seems like there’s no reason to have one anymore.

We don’t think you should ever dissolve your pre nup. Changes in your financial status, which may strike you as a reason to abandon your pre-nup, can easily be accounted for in an emended agreement. (In the best case, such changes will have been anticipated in the original document, if it was drawn up correctly.) The main reason you have a pre-nup is so that you and your spouse will have assurance that both of you will be protected, whatever may come. "Whatever may come" is a key phrase here -- you never know what the future holds, so why risk exposing yourselves to the unknown by dissolving a protective agreement? Have it amended instead.

I'm a widow with three children from a previous marriage, and I am getting married again next spring. Should I get a pre-nup?

Certainly, if only to protect your children. With out a pre-nup, your new husband will acquire a legal right to inherit at least a portion of the assets you may intend your children to inherit. A pre-nup is especially important for widows (or widowers) who want to protect a deceased spouse’s money for the children. It’s also a useful instrument to soothe grown children’s suspicions or ease resentments about a new stepparent; it demonstrates that any assets due to go to them will be protected for their use.

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Monday, May 5, 2008 9:57