We’re living in the midst of what has been called the “Great Wealth Transfer.” People born in the 1960s and earlier are expected to pass on anywhere from $30 to $68 trillion to their adult children.
It’s only natural that some families are concerned when a young adult announces they’re going to get married and they’re not getting a prenuptial agreement. While they’re more common than ever, some people still can’t ask for one or argue with a spouse-to-be who rejects the idea.
It’s not surprising that parents are increasingly getting involved in their kids’ prenups. They may be concerned if their child is determined not get one or that they won’t stand up for their interests as much as they need to if they do.
Of course, you can’t force your child to get a prenup. Further, if their spouse-to-be feels pressured to sign it or agree to terms they don’t like, they could have it invalidated if there’s a divorce in the future. By putting yourself in the middle, you’re also risking damaging your relationship with your child and their relationship with their partner.
What assets are at stake?
Before you decide to advocate for a prenup, consider what assets you’re trying to protect. If your child has ownership in a family business or is included in a family trust, you do want to protect those assets from being lost in a divorce. If you co-own investment or other property with your child, you want to protect that.
It’s important that your child knows what could be at stake if they don’t have a prenup. Maybe they aren’t fully aware of the ramifications for the family (or themselves) if they don’t have one. They might appreciate being able to “blame” the terms of the family business or other agreements when approaching their future spouse.
Whether your child gets a prenup or not, you should make sure that those assets are protected with prenuptial provisions in your estate plan and other legal documents. A prenuptial agreement shouldn’t be your only safety net.
Stay out of the provisions that don’t affect you
If your child agrees to a prenup to help protect the family assets, let them handle the rest of it themselves. In the end, the agreement is between them and their future spouse. If they have sound legal guidance to protect their interests, that should ease your concerns.