Taking a fresh look at prenuptial agreements

Prenuptial agreements can help safeguard assets and reputations as well as outline estate planning wishes.

Many people in Pennsylvania may believe that only celebrities can need or benefit from prenuptial agreements. Others may feel cynical about prenups with multiple media stories reporting problems with the prenups held by some famous people. While these concerns are understandable, the realities of prenuptial agreements are quite different.

A new day, a new prenup

As society has changed, so too have prenuptial agreements. While these marital contracts can and do offer a way of outlining some property division stipulations if a marriage ends in divorce, they offer so much more.

AARP.org notes that couples who get married for the second or subsequent time can use a prenup as a means of keeping some assets within their original family lines. Certain heirlooms may be special to the children of one spouse but have no meaning to the stepchildren, for example. In this way, a prenuptial agreement can be a beneficial adjunct to other estate planning activities.

Social media has become a common forum for Pennsylvania people to communicate and share today. However, when posts or comments on these networks are negative toward an ex-spouse, problems can arise. Fox News notes that this concern has given way to social media clauses in prenuptial agreements. This lets people have some way to indicate what is acceptable for one person to post about the other.

All prenups are not created equally

Anyone who develops a prenuptial agreement wants to make sure it is able to be enforced if and when needed. Forbes suggests that the following things can help ensure this:

  • No assets should be hidden or undervalued. Complete honesty is required and a later discovery of undisclosed assets could nullify the prenup.
  • One attorney should be hired for each person. This avoids any conflict of interest.
  • Requests and clauses should be reasonable in nature. Any potential impact of a violation of the agreement that can be fiscally demonstrated should be so.
  • The signing of a prenup should be done voluntarily by both persons and each party must be able to be proven of sound mind at the time.

In addition, there are specific steps that are required for the filing of prenuptial agreements. These also must be adhered to properly.

What should couples do?

The first thing that a couple interested in a prenup should do is to consult with an attorney. Getting the facts at the outset of the process can help the entire experience.

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