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Chronicles of Jane -- Prenuptial Agreements

Posted by Bridget Murray | Mar 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

My partner, Ray Cannon, created the chronicles of Dick and Jane to help clients understand some of the intricacies of estate planning and elder law.  With thanks and appreciation for his sense of humor and legal skills, we bring you the 2019 life of Dick and Jane.

Jane recently graduated from college and secured a position as an investment banker with a large Wall Street firm. Jane has been dating Dick for several years. Dick is currently unemployed but hopes to find a job in his chosen field of social work.  Jane came in to see me to discuss planning for her marriage to Dick this summer and whether she should make out a Will. Jane was under the impression that prenuptial agreements were for “older couples who were marrying for a second time” but wanted to learn more about it. Neither Dick nor Jane had been previously married.

I explained that a prenuptial agreement can be thought of as an insurance policy just in case the marriage does not turn out as hoped. A prenuptial agreement basically puts the couple in the same place they were prior to the marriage, with all of the individual's assets staying with the individual in the event of divorce. And, in the event of death, the assets can be directed to pass to someone other than the spouse.

Jane decided that she and Dick would finalize a prenuptial agreement within the next three months and agreed that they would meet with me to do their estate plan after they were married.

LESSON: Whether married previously or not, you should strongly consider a prenuptial agreement if any of the following criteria is met:

You have assets such as a home, stock or retirement funds

You own all or part of a business

You may be receiving an inheritance

You have children and/or grandchildren from a previous marriage

One of you is much wealthier than the other or has a substantial probability of creating greater wealth than the other

One of you will be supporting the other through college

You have loved ones who need to be taken care of, such as elderly parents

You have or are pursuing a degree or license in a potentially lucrative profession such as medicine

About the Author

Bridget Murray

Attorney at Law, Principal Attorney Murray has been practicing in the area of Estate Planning for 20 years. Prior to becoming an attorney, she wrote for The Economist in Tokyo, worked as a financial analyst for State Street Bank, and earned an MBA in International Management (Thunderbird School ...

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