Tying a better knot

As a child’s spouse is welcomed into a successful family, these steps may help pave the way for the new marriage to be a happy one—and lessen the impact if it’s not.

Authored by the Merrill Center for Family WealthTM


It is admittedly hard to warm up to prenuptial agreements. Many couples worry that such contracts raise the possibility of failure before a marriage has even had a chance to succeed.

At the Merrill Center for Family Wealth™, we have worked with hundreds of families over the last decade, helping them effectively plan for complex financial conversations with loved ones. Our whitepaper, Tying a better knot provides insights on prenuptial agreements and welcoming a spouse/partner into a successful family. Prenups can be much easier to accept, if broaching the topic is seen as an extension of a family's overall approach to money and communication. In this context, then, a prenup becomes just one part of a broader discussion about how the new spouse is going to fit into the family dynamic. It can lay the groundwork for effective communication and flush out issues that each future spouse holds dear in order to prevent them from being blindsided in the future should these issues arise.  Frank and honest discussions around the reasons and content of the prenup should be viewed as a tool to strengthen the couple's relationship. Handled effectively and with a lens of fairness (versus a focus only on protecting family assets), it's a meaningful way to build communication skills, as a couple, in navigating most future marital conversations, especially where money and wealth expectations are concerned.

If you'd like help navigating prenuptial agreements and welcoming a spouse/partner into a successful family, contact your Merrill private wealth advisor, who can leverage resources and insights of the Merrill Center for Family Wealth™.

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