If you and your soon-to-be spouse have decided to file a prenuptial agreement, you have already taken the first step toward smart future financial planning. Next, there is a lot to think about. The following steps will help you navigate the process of creating a strong prenuptial agreement — even if you never need to use it.

#1: Preparation

Tackle the document as early as possible. When you give yourselves enough time, you’ll be able to thoroughly consider the terms you want to include and to make any necessary revisions without rushing.

Before you meet with an attorney, there are a few lists you and your partner can make. In our prenuptial agreement FAQ, our attorneys outline the factors to think about ahead of time:

  1. All your property and assets
  2. Your debts and other liabilities
  3. Inheritances you have or expect to receive
  4. Your future financial goals
  5. Any financial-related issues that might be important to discuss

By getting started early and having a private discussion before your first meeting, you and your soon-to-be spouse will be ready to create a great first draft.

#2: Reasonableness

Be reasonable when coming up with the terms of your agreement. Avoid a one-sided prenup. It will not hold up in court if you ever need to use it. Creating a strong prenuptial agreement is an exercise in communication. Give each other the same respect and courtesy you always do.

#3: Simple Content

Once you know all the terms you want to include, be as clear as possible. Use plain language in your agreement. There is no need for technical terms, legalese, or minute and unnecessary details.

In addition, be sure to draft a clause to protect each other in the event of death. It’s a good opportunity to identify how your spouse will be taken care of.

#4: Thoroughness

Make sure you read the entire document before signing it. Avoid rushing into an agreement you aren’t comfortable with or clear on. Take your time and ask any questions you might have.

#5: Counsel

You and your partner should each have your own lawyer when creating the agreement. One partner will typically have an attorney draft the document and then send it to the other for review. At Petrelli Previtera, we have served clients on either side of the process.

If you’re ready to start the process of creating a prenuptial agreement, feel free to call our firm. We can further discuss the steps you and your partner should take.