Unless estate planning documents, such as a Prenuptial Agreement, create other arrangements, your spouse has an automatic entitlement to part of your assets. A Prenup allows you to direct how your property and savings are divided in the event of death or divorce.
Most people associate a prenup only with the possibility of divorce. In addition, prenuptials are often viewed as unromantic, uncaring contractual documents that contradict the romantic aspect of marriage.
All of this stigma can cause what’s known as the prenuptial agreement dilemma; a difficult choice between making a marriage practical and keeping it romantic.
However many (if not most) prenuptial agreements are written not in anticipation of divorce, but in anticipation of death. And taking care of your surviving spouse after your death is arguably one of the most romantic, responsible actions you can take.
Moreover, rather than "doomsaying" documents that foretell a bitter divorce, prenuptial agreements can actually bring harmony to your marriage by settling financial issues and keeping them from creating conflict during your life together and afterward.
A prenuptial agreement, however, is not right for all couples. If you and your soon-to-be-spouse were not previously married and have neither children nor any substantial assets, then a prenuptial agreement may not be necessary.
For everyone else , though–and especially people in their 30s or older with any substantial assets, children, or a former spouse–a prenuptial agreement is strongly encouraged.
Prenuptial agreements are particularly useful for people who are entering into a second marriage. In the case of remarriage, one or both spouses may already have significant assets, and may want to arrange that family members from the first marriage inherit property and assets.
Once you are remarried, in fact, your new spouse has an automatic entitlement to part of your assets, unless estate planning documents, such as a prenuptial agreement, create other arrangements.