Do I need a Prenuptial Agreement?

Talking about getting a prenup could be a difficult topic to raise with your fiancé before marriage. Not only do you love this person very much and want to spend the rest of your life with them but you also want to protect your interests when you are the wealthier party. This can make having such a conversation undoubtedly feel very awkward one as some may think that it could cause much offence as it may demonstrate a lack of trust in the relationship.

In the past, such agreements were for the extremely rich or famous and would be associated with people form such walks of life. However, today, such agreements are commonly requested, particularly when there is a financial imbalance, and our firm has seen a rise in the number of couples who turn to us for legal advice surrounding the process behind forming prenuptial agreements.

People who are getting married are doing it for the love that they express towards one another and the certainty that this person is the one and you are both going to make a break for it as a team in the world. However, protecting your interests can be a thought in the back of your mind and more couples are thinking this way which has had a liberalised impact on the concept of prenups where we have advised a selection of individuals including couples themselves, financial advisors who are asking about clients, accountants and of course parents.

When should you Consider a Prenuptial Agreement?

It could be worth considering to discuss a prenup agreement with your partner or fiancé if either of you owns a property, large amounts of assets (stocks, savings, inheritance, material sentimental possessions), business assets, i.e. a company, or if either of you have substantial retirement benefits.

How to Negotiate a Prenuptial Agreement?

Of course, creating a prenup is a difficult decision, one which would encapsulate a number of pros and cons. At the end of the day, it is down to the couple to decide if they want this and a dialogue will have to take place between them to decide what exactly will be included in the final agreement. Many couples can have such a dialogue without the need of help however some turn to others for help with this and ask a mediator, a counsellor, a religious leader or a lawyer. If you do decide to seek mediation help, our expert team of top family lawyers can assist you in facilitating and monitoring this dialogue.

Witnesses for a Prenuptial Agreement?

When you decide to get a prenup, your signatures on the official document must be witnessed by two independent people. Witnesses should not be your family member, must be over the age of 18 and should be mentally able. Each witness will have to sign the document and write their name, address and job title.

Protecting Future Earnings

Indeed a well-drafted prenup can protect your future earnings so it is important to seek advice from the best family lawyers when considering making one. For more advice on this contact our London based legal team.

Can a Prenuptial Agreement Affect a Will?

When parties enter into a prenuptial agreement, in the event of a divorce, the financial assets and property will be divided in a particular way.  Moreover, if one of the parties dies without making a will, the prenuptial agreement will have no effect as it was valid during the joint lives of the parties. It is advisable therefore for the parties to execute a will after the prenuptial agreement to state clearly what is to happen to their property upon the death of either of the parties.

It should also be noted that a divorce affects a will and property left to the surviving partner on death in a will will be made void in the event of divorce. Thus where property is divided in accordance with the prenuptial agreement on a divorce, the parties should both at that stage make wills (or new wills) setting out to whom they wish to leave their property upon death.

What Important Questions should you ask before a Prenuptial Agreement is signed?

It is important to know the answers to a number of general questions before finalising your prenup document. Having the answers to such questions can help you decide what exactly you want in the final agreement and what you want to leave out.

Such common questions include:

  • A range of general questions regarding the relationship history between the couple that would discuss previous long term relationships, marriages and children.
  • The assets each individual owns. I.e. the material and financial assets that each person owns.
  • The employment situation of each member of the couple
  • The income level of the members of the couple
  • Any previous divorce settlements
  • Any trusts, investments, businesses and shares each person in the couple has

Ask our Expert Legal Team

At Gulbenkian Andonian, we pride ourselves on “Excellence, Experience and Efficiency”. With over 35 years of experience on your side, our team of London based lawyers and solicitors have a wealth of experience advising individuals, families and businesses of all sizes to find clarity on UK law.

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