Why parents get involved in the prenuptial process

Older Americans in New Jersey and elsewhere will soon begin transferring as much as $60 trillion in assets to their children and grandchildren. At the same time, there has been an increase in the number of younger married couples who are seeking prenuptial agreements. As parents want to protect their assets after they are handed down to future generations, they have become more involved in the process of negotiating those agreements.

Depending on the circumstances, a parent insisting that a child get a prenuptial agreement could strain the relationship between the two. However, it could also provide an excuse for the individual getting married to request that such an agreement be crafted. In some cases, it may be a good idea for parents to get involved because they have a better understanding of how much the family is worth. A parent may also have more knowledge about a child's net worth than he or she does.

However, parents should try to strike a balance between protecting their assets and interfering in the child's relationship. Ideally, they will allow their children to develop their own financial philosophies and do what works for them financially. They can also act as a source of information or advice if a child has questions about what to include in an agreement or how to include it.

A prenuptial agreement may make it easier for individuals to protect business or other assets if a marriage fails. It may also make it easier to protect an inheritance or assets that may be owned jointly by an individual and his or her family members. Ideally, an attorney will assist in the creation and execution of such an agreement. This may maximize the chances that it is deemed to be valid if a divorce occurs.

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