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Taking the taboo out of money and “I do”
Navigating romantic relationships amid wealth.


Merrill Center for Family WealthTM

Authored by Valerie Galinskaya, Managing Director and head of the Merrill Center for Family Wealth
Phoebe Massey, Vice President and Business Support Manager, Merrill Center for Family Wealth™

couple looking at each other

While an upcoming engagement brings excitement, there are often anxieties at play when it comes to navigating romantic relationships amid wealth.

The Merrill Center for Family Wealth™ has helped hundreds of families navigate wealth’s complexities and often assists with issues surrounding marriage/partnership and wealth. Although each situation is unique, young adults (known as the rising generation) are often unsure about the details of—and the current wealth-creating or wealth-holding generation’s intentions for—the family’s wealth. Engagements and marriage/domestic partnership can intensify uncertainty and anxiety surrounding future monetary support, financial involvement and expectations for spouses/partners and children. When approached with skill and purpose, this situation can provide an opportunity to build and strengthen trust.

To help families, and especially the rising generation, navigate wealth and romantic relationships, the Center created the Taking the taboo out of money and “I do” whitepaper. The whitepaper includes insights and first-person accounts to help steer important conversations, decisions and actions regarding prenuptial agreements. The paper includes details on how to:

  • Gauge family financial transparency
  • Clarify intentions for the use of wealth
  • Identify shared family values
  • Clarify the potential role of a prenup
  • Consider a collaborative prenup approach
  • Understand money messages
  • Explore spouses’ role in family meetings
  • And more.