Prenups Made Easy Trent Wallace

Prenups Made Easy
5 Things You MUST KNOW Before Having the Talk
Trent Wallace
PUBLISHED BY:
Trent Wallace
Copyright © 2012
Createaprenup.com
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced in any format, by any means, electronic
or otherwise, without prior consent from the copyright owner and publisher of this book.
The information provided in this eBook is for educational purposes only, not to provide specific
legal advice. By reading the material in this eBook you understand that there is no professional
relationship between you and the author. The information provided in this eBook should not be
used as a substitute for competent professional advice from a professional licensed attorney in
your state.
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The purpose of this eBook is not to explain what a prenuptial agreement is or go into heavy
detail on the legal requirements in your state. This will be touched upon briefly, but this eBook
assumes you are aware of the definition of a prenuptial agreement.
Instead, this eBook will deliver 5 sure-fire tips on how to approach your partner with the
suggestion of a prenup without leaving you scorned, mystified, or alone. The end result is to
convey your thoughts with poise, appreciation and respect and hopefully register a stronger
bond that will grow throughout your relationship.
You’ll also get 1 bonus tip on what to be sure to avoid when discussing the idea of a prenup with
your partner.
The thought of having to discuss the concept of a prenup with your spouse-to-be is
nerve-wracking to say the least. Endless concerns about the manner in which to bring it up,
finding the right time and place, making sure you have your facts straight, and able to
appropriately express what you what you REALLY want to say, without sounding like a
knucklehead that has no heart or soul. These are valid concerns because the wrong message can
drive a stake between the two of you and, in a worst case scenario, push one spouse so far off
the deep end that he or she ends the relationship completely.
Prenups are becoming a more common part of lives throughout the United States as the
divorce statistics give intelligent people all the information they need. 50% of all first marriages,
67% of all second marriages and 74% of all third marriages end in divorce. However, the facts
are easy to ignore and many people unfortunately do and carry on into marriage confident they
are the exception.
New relationship excitement, emotion and romance are common characteristics in the early
part of a relationship that supersede the prenup decision-making process as there is nothing
romantic about starting a marriage with a conversation about what would happen if it were to
end.
No doubt it’s a topic that often is overlooked as many couples believe they are immune to
divorce and discussing finances today is unnecessary. One look into the eyes of their life partner
will encourage visions of walking on a beach, hand-in-hand, as the sun sets over the horizon.
Rarely are their thoughts of a break-up.
Truth is, divorce is a fact of life and prenups have a place in the lives of every couple, especially
ones bringing considerable assets or children into the fold. Discussions about prenups don’t
have to be devastating to the relationship and we will show you the top 5 ways to broach the
subject of a prenuptial agreement with your bride or groom-to-be.
1) KNOW WHY YOU WANT A PRENUP
Any person interested in a contract stating how assets will be divided upon a divorce has the
right to be apprehensive about bringing it up to their partner. It’s not an everyday topic and
must be handled with care. What’s important is to understand how a prenup can help you so
you can relay this information to your partner with tact. Although not as pressing, arming
yourself with the knowledge of the basic requirements in your state is also helpful to share.
Questions from your partner that lead to a bunch of “I don’t knows” and shoulder shrugs will be
off-putting during the discussion.
Reasons to Establish a Prenup:

You have multiple varying assets, such as real estate, retirement accounts, savings, etc

You are a business owner

You are in line to receive an inheritance

You have children or grandchildren from a previous marriage

There is a significant wealth gap between either spouse

You are concerned about your spouse’s financial intentions

You have elderly or disabled individuals in your life needing care

You are in line for a well-paying job

You’ve had a previous bad experience in marriage ending in significant loss of assets

You are anticipating a big payday or a promotion putting you in a new pay category

You are very tight and reluctant to part with your money, even if you have a very small
sum

One spouse will sacrifice their career to stay at home with children

You have a sizable pre-marriage nest egg

You want to avoid disagreements over property and assets

You don’t want to leave the decision of your individual and combined assets to the
courts in your state
Have a Basic Understanding of the Law
Being able to convey these rules to your spouse is important and at first, broad generalities are
fine. There is no reason you need to become an expert on the rules as down the road a qualified
marital law attorney will help handle the legal particulars. In short, however, these are the
prenuptial agreement rules that must be followed for the contract to be enforceable and valid:

Only written agreements are binding; oral prenups will not stand up in court

No party will be coerced into signing a prenup; the agreement must be voluntary

Full disclosure of all assets must be given at the time of execution; anything otherwise
can cause the agreement to be deemed invalid

The prenup must be created in good faith and not excessively unfair or unconscionable
to one party

Must occur before a notary and executed by both parties (attorneys present as option
to either party)
In many cases, having a separate attorney is advised so each party is given full independent
counsel without overlap that could lead to a conflict of interest. Making sure the agreement is
signed far in advance of the wedding day is also advised as judges key in on prenups signed
within days or hours of the ceremony. Knowing the basics will help you communicate a certain
level of knowledge to your loved one during the conversation.
2) DIRECT THE CONVERSATION TOWARDS FINANCIAL PLANNING
Marrying adults should have as much of an eye on the future as they do on the present.
Therefore, making time to have a further serious discussion regarding what lies ahead in your
financial future can be broached from a perspective of reality. The truth is money is often a
tenuous subject between couples who have earned independently for many years. The
realization that you and your partner’s money will at some level become communal is not an
easy proposition to wrap your head around initially.
By recognizing the fact that you will be accumulating wealth, or already have sizable wealth,
makes discussions about money natural. It’s obvious this present or future wealth accumulation
will need to be managed and sustained over time for the future well being of each of you as
well as your children. Getting to this level of dialogue about money will naturally lead into what
will happen in the event of death and divorce, thus the lead-in for prenuptial agreements has
come to the surface.
This discussion can originate with a simple plan on whether to combine checking accounts or
keep them separate. It can also begin with simple questions about expectations for marriage,
such as where will you live, how many children do you want, do you or your spouse plan to stop
working, how will discretionary funds work, etc. These discussions are a product of obtaining
wealth over time or scenarios that influence decisions about money and should have no
personal overtones about them.
Some religions strongly require partners to take quizzes pertaining to their beliefs for a
successful marriage. This includes your financial beliefs, opening the door to additional
discussion, which lead into the possibility of forming a prenuptial agreement. Continued lack of
success can be a frustrating and if you feel like you’re not able to get your point across, licensed
counselors, clergymen or social workers can help talk through these brittle issues and get to the
end point quicker.
3) THERE’S A TIME AND PLACE FOR EVERYTHING
Often overlooked, this can be as important as the very words that come out of your mouth.
You’ll want to find the right moment and location to discuss a prenup, and expect that this will
be on-going discussion and not just a one shot deal.
WHEN: You’ll want to make sure you set aside a dedicated time rather than bringing it up out of
the blue when you or your partner are not mentally or physically at your best.
Be sure to respect her personal schedule and look for a private moment in the near future.
Be certain you don’t wait until the last minute prior to your marriage date as this will give you
little time to form a legal contract as well as give your spouse- to-be additional worries beyond
normal wedding day jitters.
Ask for an hour or so of her time to hash out some details pertaining to your collective financial
future. In the meantime, prepare a set of key points you’ll want to discuss and even practice an
intro statement so you are ready to roll when the time comes.
WHERE: I’m sure there are locations within your home or your partner’s home that act as a
setting for important conversations. This may include the kitchen table, patio, family room, etc.
Start this conversation there if you both feel comfortable and are at ease.
As an alternative, on a beautiful sunny day, entertain a long drive or a walk in your
neighborhood.
Tidbit: Under no circumstances will you want to show up to your first discussion with a
prenuptial agreement document! This can make matters go south in a hurry and act as if you’re
not giving your partner a say in the matter.
Attorneys will need to be involved in the process eventually, but initial conversations should be
you and your partner simply talking about the topic at hand and hashing out preliminary details.
A prenup form will only cause one party to stiffen up and make the entire process more difficult.
Explanations of why each party will need their own independent attorney can also be brought
up at a later time, but save the first discussion for other more important topics then the legal
process.
4) BREAKING THE ICE
The why, when and where has been established and it’s time to move onto “how” to move into
the real discussion.
Initiating the conversation can be the hardest part but once again it should be towards a
discussion of financial wealth over the long haul with the goal of protecting the prosperity of
your financial futures, not about a lack of trust.
You’ll want to begin “agreeing” to how your possessions will be shared and what will be
considered separate. Creating a list or “disclosing” each of your personal assets will help bring all
possessions to light so a decision about each can be “formed”.
The process of bringing all of these assets to the surface will help you better understand how
you will manage the financial aspects of your lives as you transition into marriage. Getting to
this mature point in your discussion will bridge your ability to introduce the subject of how these
assets would be divided if something were to happen in your marriage.
At this point, recommending that putting the division of these assets into a legal contract falls in
line with protecting each other’s financial wealth.
An example statement here would be, “I love that we are talking about our future together,
what we both want, and how we see things evolving over time. There’s no reason for money to
ever be a nagging issue in our relationship and addressing them in an agreement makes sense
so we don’t ever have to worry about them again after we are married.”
Feel free to weave in other aspects that fall under “Reasons to Establish a Prenup” if it pertains
to your particular scenario (sacrifice to stay home with children, business owner, etc).
The reality is that prenup agreements are often won or lost not by pure definition of the
phrase, but how the subject is brought up and the details are delivered to the other party. Trust
can be lost completely if one party has a very rigid or unflattering approach.
Marriage is all about compromise and this should be extended into the discussion you’re having,
remaining open about what needs to be agreed to, being fair, listening intently, and address his
or her thoughts and suggestions.
There’s a reason the two of you are together in the first place and the appreciation, respect, and
loyal partnership should continue to the premarital contract, compromising on some things in
order to get to a final resolution. If you remain steadfast about topics and unwilling to make any
concessions, then you may want to rethink your approach to marriage because you can expect
to compromise a great deal as the years go on and children come into the fold.
5) MAKE IT BINDING
If you’ve reached this far and it’s time to put this puppy to bed, then the hard part is over. There
are many ways to legitimize a prenuptial agreement, but first let’s talk about a few items that
should be considered:
Discuss and finalize your prenuptial agreement within a fair amount of time from your wedding
day. Judges frown on prenups executed too closely to the date of the wedding. If you’re late in
your discussion with your spouse-to-be and are running up against the clock, you may want to
either postpone your wedding date or form a postnuptial agreement after marriage.
Make sure there are no signs of duress from one party to sign the contract. This will also be
looked at closely by a judge and he or she has the right to nullify the entire contract if they
deem one party was coerced into signing.
To make your prenuptial contract legal, there are many options to consider that range in price.
It is advised that each party retains their own legal counsel in order to avoid a conflict of
interest. The separate attorneys can work together to create a prenup based on the particulars
you’ve given them at the onset. This method will avoid any issues down the road if you were to
divorce.
1)
Do-It-Yourself Prenuptial Agreement templates help starters draft a prenup and
understand the elements that make up a binding agreement. These cost under $50 to begin the
process yourself. It is usually recommended to use these DIY templates as foundation to get
your assets in order. Depending on the state you live in, Do It Yourself prenuptial agreements
don't have as much weight in court if challenged as one that is handled professionally by an
attorney.
2)
State specific prenuptial agreement forms that can be downloaded into Word,
completed, and taken to an attorney for review for under $75. These specific forms will help you
get started on the rules you must follow in your state. Since these forms are created specifically
to your locale, they will follow the laws of your state. Paying an attorney to review the contract
you've formed will cost much less than going to their office for complete and unconditional
support.
3)
Complete online support through Legalzoom.com – Complete an online questionnaire
to receive a free prenuptial agreement example and evaluation. If you decide to proceed, an
attorney will further evaluate your needs, provide a legal consultation and answer any questions
related to the preparation of your prenuptial agreement. As part of the payment, the attorney
will create a customized prenuptial agreement that includes all the required disclosures per your
state. The complete cost is $695.
4)
Hiring a local attorney specializing in marital law by the hour or flat fee – many times
the cost is state-dependent and even city-dependent, but typically for an attorney to form a
straightforward prenup, the cost will range between $250 and $600. For a more complex
agreement covering more property and assets can run between $600 and $2000. For extremely
high profile prenups with multiple assets and holdings, the price can range from $2000 to 5
figures.
Some attorneys will allow you to pay by the hour if that is preferable at a range of around $200
per hour.
WHAT NOT TO DO?
These can be considered obvious things to avoid, but sadly, many people still perform these
actions and expect a reasonable turnout:

Waiting until the last minute to bring up a prenup

Coming into the discussion with your mind made up about how the prenup will be
formed

Not listening to your partners thoughts and recommendations

Not preparing adequately for the discussion

Implying ‘mistrust’ is the reason you want to form a prenup

Waiting until the last minute to sign a prenup

Being stubborn, demanding or forcing the prenup to be signed

Bringing negative energy from past divorces into the discussion
As mentioned previously, the whole idea around discussing a prenuptial agreement with your
partner should be geared around financial planning for the future. The conversation is bound to
take place at some point in your relationship so having it before marriage is the more intelligent
approach so you can agree to terms legally and put it behind you for good.
One must understand why a prenup is beneficial by meeting with an attorney in advance to
understand how prenups work in your state.
This will help you develop an elementary understanding of the law so you are able to bring this
knowledge into the discussion.
Find a time and place that is beneficial to the outcome of the talks, predicated around broader
planning and protection of finances as you age.
Use time-tested ice breakers to inform your partner of the highlights of a prenup and why you
think it is important, brainstorming ideas and sharing thoughts.
Get the contract completed with through self-help options or through the assistance of an
attorney.
Being open and honest with your partner bodes well for future conversations surrounding
important topics. The ability to express yourself appropriately with a combination of tenderness
and diplomacy will define whether or not you’ll be able to help your partner to see the positives
of a prenuptial agreement and put you and your family in a position to be financially protected
once and for all.
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