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The importance of protecting family wealth with a prenup

Many California couples who tie the knot expect that they will be married their spouse for the rest of their lives. However, there are many cases where the couple decides to get a divorce several years or even decades later. Although couples can protect their family assets with a prenuptial agreement, not everyone chooses to get one drawn up before getting married.

For those who have family wealth, getting a prenuptial agreement may be of more importance than for those who are starting out with very little. If the family has had wealth for many generations, the parents may be more likely to push their children to get a prenuptial agreement to protect those family assets. The prenup can help keep the family wealth within the biological family by documenting the fact that a spouse had those assets prior to the marriage. If a divorce does occur, the ex-spouse may not be entitled to seek access to those assets.

It is generally recommended that parents bring up the topic of a prenuptial agreement when the child is in his or her late teens or early 20s. Further, discussions about the family wealth and the importance of prenuptial agreements are generally easier before the child has found his or her potential future spouse.

When future spouses agree to sign a prenuptial agreement, it is important that both individuals fully declare all of the assets. Further, both future spouses should be fully aware of the terms and sign the document without pressure. A family law attorney may represent a person who is being asked to sign a prenuptial agreement. If the spouse is being asked to sign an post-nuptial agreement after the marriage, the attorney may represent the person to help ensure that his or her rights are still protected.

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