When to Begin a Premarital Agreement? 

A premarital agreement can help couples decide how they will handle their assets and debts in the event of divorce or death. In addition, it can help to protect the family business or other property. In a marriage, it is important to document how the property will be managed and divided in the event of separation or death, and to ensure that all issues will be resolved as favorably as possible for the children. 

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The first step is to determine when it makes sense to begin a premarital agreement. Some common reasons include: 

Before you get married, it is helpful to take stock of your finances and plan how to deal with any major responsibilities that come with the marriage, such as purchasing a home or paying off debts. It can also be useful to consult with your parents, grandparents and financial advisers. 

It is often easier to make such decisions if you have some time to work through them without the stress of planning a wedding. Consequently, it is best to begin drafting your prenuptial agreement well before the wedding date so that you can discuss it with both of your spouses. 

Many states require that a premarital agreement be signed by both spouses, so it is important to have the necessary paperwork in place before you get married. It can also be helpful to have a separate lawyer for each person, so that each person is represented by an attorney who understands the unique needs of their client. 

When you get a lawyer to review your prenuptial agreement, it is important to give the attorney adequate time to review and analyze the information and negotiate the terms with both of you. It is especially important to have an attorney with experience in premarital agreements, so that the lawyer can make sure the terms are fair and reasonable for both of you. 

Some couples are able to avoid the need for a premarital agreement by creating a written contract that clearly outlines their respective assets and debts and how these will be managed in the event of divorce or death. Generally, the parties agree to keep their assets and debts in their sole names during the marriage and then name each other as co-owners of the property if the couple separates or dies. 

Once you have a comprehensive list of your individual assets and projected income, it is important to take stock of any debts that you may have. These can include student loans, credit card debts, mortgages, and tax debts. 

In addition, it is important to take inventory of any major gifts or inheritances that you will receive during the marriage. These can include money given to you by your parents, grandparents or other relatives. 

You should also think about the assets and debts that you will acquire during your marriage, including any new purchases or investments. It is also essential to make sure that you have a thorough understanding of the other party’s assets and debts, so that you can determine whether there is an imbalance between you.