If an “I do” is in your near future, you need to make another commitment … this one to your financial planner. Before all the wedding planning and honeymoon booking are complete, a conversation with your financial planning team is also recommended to take a look at how marriage will impact your financial situation. Two people coming together with unique financial positions can create a number of financial issues to think about and plan for prior to entering this new chapter in life.
While prenuptial agreements aren’t for everyone, they are important planning tools especially if you or your future spouse have substantial assets, will receive a future inheritance, or have children from a previous marriage.
A prenuptial agreement typically provides direction in the following areas:
- Assets and liabilities – who brings what into the union
- Contributions of each partner – will there be special considerations
- Estate Planning – who gets what at the death of either spouse
- Division of property – when a couple decides to dissolve their marriage
More importantly the prenuptial document creates an understanding between partners and a roadmap for conducting financial affairs together. It determines how the assets and debts will be shared. It spells out how children from a previous marriage or relationship will inherit and it addresses the financial needs of the survivor in the case of death.
While talking with an attorney about a prenuptial agreement can be a stressful and touchy topic for many couples, the many beneficial aspects are worthy of consideration.
Laurie Renchik, CFP®, MBA is a Senior Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc. In addition to working with women who are in the midst of a transition (career change, receiving an inheritance, losing a life partner, divorce or remarriage), Laurie works with clients who are planning for retirement. Laurie was named to the 2013 Five Star Wealth Managers list in Detroit Hour magazine, is a member of the Leadership Oakland Alumni Association and in addition to her frequent contributions to Money Centered, she manages and is a frequent contributor to Center Connections at The Center.
Five Star Award is based on advisor being credentialed as an investment advisory representative (IAR), a FINRA registered representative, a CPA or a licensed attorney, including education and professional designations, actively employed in the industry for five years, favorable regulatory and complaint history review, fulfillment of firm review based on internal firm standards, accepting new clients, one- and five-year client retention rates, non-institutional discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered, number of client households served.
You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.