Rich Relatives and Prenuptial Agreements

You’re in your twenties or early thirties and you’re about to get married.  The thought of getting a prenuptial agreement crosses your mind because you’ve heard that everyone who gets married should have a prenup.  However, you quickly dismiss it because neither you or your fiance have much money to speak of.  So what’s the point of having a prenuptial agreement if you don’t have money?  You might have relatives that might leave you money.

Your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles are all probably older than you and in time, they will pass away and leave you an inheritance.  Once you receive that inheritance, that money becomes not just yours but also belongs to your spouse.  This is especially true if you commingle the funds or live in a community property state.

You might think to yourself though, what’s the harm in having my inheritance belong to both of us if we’re married and in love?  Because you can’t be sure at the time you receive your inheritance, that you’ll still be in the same state of marital bliss.  And if you’re not, you’re in trouble.  At that point, it would be too late to keep your inheritance separate.

The key is to plan now to have your inheritance separate and if at the time you do inherit money and you are still happily married, you are free to share it with your husband or wife.  But if you are not happily married, you don’t have to.  It’s a choice that you’re giving to yourself.  Hope for the best, but always plan for the worst.

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