Why children of wealthy families might want a prenup

Some wealthy Pennsylvania parents may want their children to sign a prenuptial agreement in order to protect the family legacy. However, their children might perceive this as an affront to their spouse-to-be and may resist doing so.

One way parents may avoid this is by bringing up the idea of a prenuptial agreement when their children are young adults, long before a potential spouse is in the picture. This shifts the focus to protecting assets and away from any particular individual. Parents may also want to frame the conversation towards their children making sure that when they have children of their own, there is still wealth to pass down to them.

Another reason starting this conversation early may be a good idea is that it gives the child the opportunity to start learning about the family wealth. Financial disclosure is one step of creating a prenup, but when discussion of the prenup is left until later, this could be the first time a child starts to fully understand the finances. If parents are still not able to successfully persuade their child, they might place assets in a trust for protection.

If a couple goes into a divorce without a prenup, they will need to either negotiate an agreement for property division or go through litigation where a judge will decide. This may also happen with a prenup if it is successfully challenged. If the prenup is not prepared properly or if one spouse did not have adequate legal counsel, it might be declared invalid. If assets are in a trust or seem inaccessible in some other way to the less wealthy spouse, that person might be concerned about financial security after divorce. The couple may still be able to work together to reach a solution that satisfies both parties but still protects the legacy the wealthier spouse wishes to keep.