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Advice re: prenup agreements
Old 04-03-2009, 04:48 PM   #1
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Advice re: prenup agreements

22 years after my divorce, I have met someone very special. We are discussing marriage & he suggested we get our prenup agreements in place and then make wedding plans. I'd like to research the issue before contacting my attorney. Your thoughts and comments are appreciated.


p.s. I'm 54 years old, no children, retired at 42. Full time cattle rancher, investor - no debt whatsoever.
My intended is 65 with 3 grown children - 2 ex wives. He is also a rancher & businessman....involved with several media endeavors.

His net worth far exceeds mine, but so do his liabilities.
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:53 PM   #2
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Here are a few threads you might find interesting:

Pre-nuptial Agreement to Protect FIRE Nestegg
What's reasonable for a pre-nup?
Pre nups ?

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:56 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by slimm View Post
22 years after my divorce, I have met someone very special. We are discussing marriage & he suggested we get our prenup agreements in place and then make wedding plans. I'd like to research the issue before contacting my attorney. Your thoughts and comments are appreciated.


p.s. I'm 54 years old, no children, retired at 42. Full time cattle rancher, investor - no debt whatsoever.
My intended is 65 with 3 grown children - 2 ex wives. He is also a rancher & businessman....involved with several media endeavors.

His net worth far exceeds mine, but so do his liabilities.
Say there were no such thing as a pre-nup, or what is more likely, no such thing as one that will stand up under concerted attack.

Would you see tangible benefits to yourself in getting married? Risks?

If the risks outweigh or match the benefits, can you accomplish your life goals with regard to this situation without a marriage?

Ha
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Old 04-03-2009, 05:06 PM   #4
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Can you just keep you assets separate with your own will or trust so that your assets go where you want them to go in case of the inevitable, or in case of another divorce? I don't know how OK law views this but I think there are some states that allow you to keep your assets separate.

Also, no intent to pry too deeply, but I've always felt that there were question marks as to the viability of the marraige when pre-nups are an issue. Just sayin...

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Old 04-03-2009, 05:18 PM   #5
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Also, no intent to pry too deeply, but I've always felt that there were question marks as to the viability of the marraige when pre-nups are an issue. Just sayin...

R
I think we all have different views on the business side of marraige. At our age, not many of us view marraige strictly through the lovely glow of romance.

I think the OP is wise to consult an attorney. Look into a revocable trust for your own assets. And look VERY closely at your fiancee's debt burden. That's where I would be most concerned and would want to make sure there would be no contingency in which I would be responsible.
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Old 04-03-2009, 05:28 PM   #6
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... My intended is ... a rancher & businessman....involved with several media endeavors. His net worth far exceeds mine.....
I hope you and Ted Turner will be very happy together!
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Old 04-03-2009, 05:56 PM   #7
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The very concept of pre-nuptial is a dirty word to a lot of folks. It is actually the most sensible thing for persons entering into marriage with separate assets acquired prior to the marriage. Especially when assets/liabilities are uneven.
A pre-nup does not mean the marriage is doomed. It will actually be more useful in more grim situations. Use your imagination.
I just went through soup-to-nuts estate planning last spring. My attorney asked me all of the tough questions about my assets, my fiance's assets gobbled up by divorce, his heirs, my lack of heirs, etc etc.
He listened, thought for a bit, and then...
His advice to me was to firmly establish, in legal and recorded documents, what was separate property for BOTH of us prior to any wedding marches. It had nothing to do with me or dh2b, it had everything to do with the laws of separate vs marital property and inheritance. It had everything to do with "what-if".
He told me my revocable living trust is almost as good as a prenup because it establishes my ownership of my assets as a single person. Every single asset I own that can have a beneficiary designation has been changed to "The Revocable Living Trust of Freebird". In closing, he advised a pre-nup on top of that when the time comes.
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
The very concept of pre-nuptial is a dirty word to a lot of folks. It is actually the most sensible thing for persons entering into marriage with separate assets acquired prior to the marriage. Especially when assets/liabilities are uneven.
A pre-nup does not mean the marriage is doomed. It will actually be more useful in more grim situations. Use your imagination.
I just went through soup-to-nuts estate planning last spring. My attorney asked me all of the tough questions about my assets, my fiance's assets gobbled up by divorce, his heirs, my lack of heirs, etc etc.
He listened, thought for a bit, and then...
His advice to me was to firmly establish, in legal and recorded documents, what was separate property for BOTH of us prior to any wedding marches. It had nothing to do with me or dh2b, it had everything to do with the laws of separate vs marital property and inheritance. It had everything to do with "what-if".
He told me my revocable living trust is almost as good as a prenup because it establishes my ownership of my assets as a single person. However, he advised a pre-nup on top of that when the time comes.
What better time to draw up mutually satisfying financial arrangements than when you are most in love. It should be a part of most relationship formalizing: then it would be acceptable and not a stigma.
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:01 PM   #9
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I think we all have different views on the business side of marraige. At our age, not many of us view marraige strictly through the lovely glow of romance.

I think the OP is wise to consult an attorney. Look into a revocable trust for your own assets. And look VERY closely at your fiancee's debt burden. That's where I would be most concerned and would want to make sure there would be no contingency in which I would be responsible.
Yes, this is my point exactly. Keep the assets separate. My point about viability when a pre-nup is necessary is that one or both of the parties sees that there is a high likelyhood of divorce...in which case, why get married at all? But yes, married or not, do what you can to keep the assets delineated, and your contingent responsibilities to a minimum. Perhaps that is what some/this pre-nup is all about, but I just get this nagging feeling about pre-nups.

Maybe W2R can chime in about the "be together but have your own place and your own assets" alternative that she and Frank seem to have worked out nicely.

R
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:05 PM   #10
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I must have been writing this when Freebird was writing...maybe I'm just behind the times...if so, sorry for the irrelevant comments. Would still like to hear from W2R on the subject though. Best of luck yo you though, Slimm, however you decide.

R
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:15 PM   #11
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I knew I could count on ya'all to provide insight (and humor)! I already established a revocable living trust - back in 02 when I first started buying ranches in Oklahoma.
There are several issues that need to be addressed and I feel comfortable with the process. As an aside, I think this is prudent business/estate planning and does not reflect on the quality of the relationship OR feeling that it may not be successful. After many years of perfecting the art of living a full life alone, I am amazed to have met someone whose outlook and sensibilities fully complement mine.
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:19 PM   #12
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I must have been writing this when Freebird was writing...maybe I'm just behind the times...if so, sorry for the irrelevant comments. Would still like to hear from W2R on the subject though. Best of luck yo you though, Slimm, however you decide.

R
I didn't understand the pre-nup thing either til I went through the trust exercise. I had a lot of pre-conceived ideas about pre-nups due to the so highly publicized palimony cases we were bombarded with over the years. In my case, I am still unmarried. My trust provides for me first in case of my incapacity, both of us if both incapacitated, a family trust for only dh2b if I do the pushing up daisies thing, but with no inheritance for him or his heirs.
I'm giving details about a real live example not as instructions, but to illustrate some possibilities.
OP needs to consult her own estate attorney and go from there.
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:21 PM   #13
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almost forgot.....CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:49 PM   #14
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Congratulations on finding love.
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:51 PM   #15
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Maybe W2R can chime in about the "be together but have your own place and your own assets" alternative that she and Frank seem to have worked out nicely.
It's pretty simple, I guess. We choose not to marry as we have both BTDT (Been There, Done That). I went through a divorce, and there is no such thing as a nice divorce. He is a widower who was a caretaker for his wife during her decline, and that is just plain tough. So, we choose not to marry.

We live in separate houses, near to one another, and do not have any joint accounts or other jointly owned property. We see one another when that appeals to both of us, and that way when we are together, we know that the other is happy about that. We have been friends for 9 years, but have been "going steady" like this for about seven and a half years.

We are as emotionally committed as a married couple, but without the financial entanglement. For us, this has eliminated a lot of potential conflict about money before it happens. He can keep his house, well, uh, the way bachelors keep their houses and I don't feel like I have to pick up after him. I can paint my walls pink if I want to with no objections. When we want to be alone, we can just tell the other we want to be alone and maybe we can get together tomorrow. Simple. His family accepts me as much as if I were his wife, and my family accepts him similarly.

When we move north to our retirement location, we plan to buy houses within a mile of one another and ideally right next door to one another (or across the street).

Works for us, though I am sure it is not for everyone.
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Say there were no such thing as a pre-nup, or what is more likely, no such thing as one that will stand up under concerted attack.
Someone I know with a legal background, whose judgment I trust, has told me that this is indeed the case so I really would not depend on a pre-nup completely.
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:01 PM   #16
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It's pretty simple, I guess. We choose not to marry as we have both BTDT (Been There, Done That). I went through a divorce, and there is no such thing as a nice divorce. He is a widower who was a caretaker for his wife during her decline, and that is just plain tough. So, we choose not to marry.

We live in separate houses, near to one another, and do not have any joint accounts or other jointly owned property. We see one another when that appeals to both of us, and that way when we are together, we know that the other is happy about that. We have been friends for 9 years, but have been "going steady" like this for about seven and a half years.

We are as emotionally committed as a married couple, but without the financial entanglement. For us, this has eliminated a lot of potential conflict about money before it happens. He can keep his house, well, uh, the way bachelors keep their houses and I don't feel like I have to pick up after him. I can paint my walls pink if I want to with no objections. When we want to be alone, we can just tell the other we want to be alone and maybe we can get together tomorrow. Simple. His family accepts me as much as if I were his wife, and my family accepts him similarly.

When we move north to our retirement location, we plan to buy houses within a mile of one another and ideally right next door to one another (or across the street).

Works for us, though I am sure it is not for everyone.
Sounds ideal to me. I don't even want to think about living with someone.
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:27 PM   #17
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Sounds ideal to me. I don't even want to think about living with someone.
Me neither. I think W2R has the right idea!
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:16 PM   #18
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Me neither. I think W2R has the right idea!
I'm happily married, no pre-nup (didn't have anything when we married). But if there was a nasty divorce, and later I found someone, I think this is the way I would want to keep it for a LOOOONG time, and would probably never marry again. (I'm religious, so I would not become quite so "emotionally attached" if I did not marry again, however).

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Old 04-04-2009, 09:27 AM   #19
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I can certainly see the advantages of not combining certain assets but there is something to be said for living together . The other situation while nice to me lacks the spontaneity that occurs when you live together . Plus there is a certain closeness that comes from everyday living .
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Old 04-04-2009, 09:35 AM   #20
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I can certainly see the advantages of not combining certain assets but there is something to be said for living together . The other situation while nice to me lacks the spontaneity that occurs when you live together . Plus there is a certain closeness that comes from everyday living .
Like I said, it is not for everybody and I am simply responding to a request to post about our arrangement, certainly not criticizing anyone else's. We can be together as much or as little as we want - - which for us leads to far more closeness and spontaneity than we would have if we didn't allow ourselves the choices and freedom that our arrangement allows. But that's just us.
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