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Should you ask your child to consider a prenup?

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2024 | Prenuptial Agreements |

More young couples are getting prenuptial agreements ahead of their weddings than ever. More than 40% of those in Gen Z and almost 50% of Millennials report that they have them. 

Part of the reason may be that young adults are realizing that even if they don’t yet have considerable assets in their names, they’re one day going to inherit them from their parents and other family members. If they have a stake in the family business, that could also be at risk if they were to divorce.

Your responsibilities as parents

It’s often incumbent on parents to explain the importance of a prenup to their child to help protect their share of what may be generations of family wealth. Inheritances and gifts are protected from division in divorce, but only if they’re not commingled with joint assets or community property during the marriage. That’s sometimes hard to avoid – particularly if part of an inheritance is used to buy a home or placed in a joint bank account. 

The best time to talk to your child about prenups is before they’re in a serious relationship. That way it doesn’t seem like you don’t trust the person they love or think the marriage will work out. You can approach prenups as something that your family does to protect hard-earned or long-passed-down family assets, the family business and real estate properties.

Overinvolvement in a prenup can make it invalid

Remember that the prenup needs to be drafted by the people getting married. Parents and other family members can’t involve themselves in the terms – nor can they (or anyone) pressure a future in-law into signing one. You can provide the information your child needs to properly protect the family assets, but the rest is up to them.

A prenup has to be fair to both sides. If one person agrees to give up their right to any portion of an inheritance in divorce, they should get something in return. A one-sided prenup won’t hold up any better than one signed under pressure or presented to them at the last minute.

If your child’s fiancé refuses to get a prenup, there are other options for “divorce proofing” family assets. Don’t let that refusal ruin your relationship with your child’s mate, but make sure you put other protections in place, like trusts. Having solid legal guidance and ensuring that your child does as well can help you deal with this often-tricky subject and let you preserve family harmony.