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Prenuptial Agreements and Inheritance Protection

A prenuptial agreement is simply an agreement between people who are about to be married to divide property or other financial interests in a designated way.

The popularity of such agreements continues to increase, in the Atlanta area and across the country.

There are many reasons for the increase. For one thing, people keep getting married later in life. The median age for women getting married for the first time has risen from 20.6 in 1970 to 26.5 in 2009. For men, there has been a comparable increase, from 22.5 to 28.4 over the same time span.

Being older affects the need for pre-nups in a couple of different ways. Older brides and grooms tend to be more established in careers and have more assets. If one party helped put the other through graduate school, for example, the couple may want the prenuptial agreement to reflect that in some way.

On the other side of the coin, one party may extremely high student loan debt. Many doctors and lawyers are of course in this boat. A prenuptial agreement could specify what the other partner's responsibility for it would be the soon-be-married couple splits up.

Prenuptial agreements are also very useful in second or subsequent marriages. The parties can use a prenup to make clear how much (or how little) children from a first marriage may receive from the parent.

In a sense, then, a prenuptial agreement could often be described as an inheritance protection agreement. This phenomenon is only likely to grow, as baby boomers age and more and more wealth is transferred between generations.

Source: "Current Trends in a Growth Area: Prenuptial Agreements," New York Law Journal, Arlene G. Dubin and Rebecca A. Provder, 7-30-12

Our firm handles situations similar to those discussed in this post. To learn more about our practice, please visit our Atlanta prenuptial agreements page.

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