Why Each Couple Ought to Think about a Prenup—or a Postnup

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A lot of property allocation has to do with housing. Sometimes the partner who has more money has a home and the couple will live there when they get married. And maybe the partner who is not the breadwinner will invest time and energy in decorating the house and making it look beautiful. You could say, “Well, this is not my house, but I would like some kind of buy-in over time, say, every year or every five years, so that I feel like we’re a real partnership. So if we ever parted, I would get half of this house or half of the value and appreciation of this house. “

“While you can change a will at any time – that’s why you see people suddenly dedicating their entire estate to their caregiver in the last days of their lives – you can’t change a marriage.”

Another thing that I’ve kept coming up with is high quality gifts. During marriage, people buy gifts for one another. If it’s not a ring or a piece of jewelry – let’s say it’s a diamond in the rough or a work of art or a Bentley – and the partner giving it says, “Oh, baby, this is for you. It’s a birthday present. ”And then they get divorced and suddenly this partner says,“ No, no, no, no, that wasn’t a present. Of course, I’m not going to buy you a $ 1 million basquiat for your birthday. I bought this for us. It was an asset that I bought for the community. ”We have seen more and more cases like this where a partner gave a gift and later claimed it was bought for investment and not a real gift. What we will often include in prenuptial contracts now is that when a gift is given, it must be accompanied by a unilateral confirmation that says, “Under the terms of our marriage contract, I call this a gift.”

I also see many estate terms or provisions relating to wills. While you can change a will at any time – which is why you see people suddenly devoting all of their estate to their caregiver in the last few days of their lives – you cannot change a marriage. When an older person marries a younger person, the older person may not want to agree that in the event of a divorce, they are willing to give the younger person half of everything they earned or created during the marriage. But you could say, “If I die and we are still married, even though I have grown children from a previous marriage, I will put it in our marriage contract that you can live in my house for the rest of your life.” And if you die, it goes to my children. ”Or the younger or healthier spouse may want to bring this into the marriage, knowing that their partner can change their will at any time.

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