How can I get the protection of a prenup without one?

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2020 | High-asset Divorce |

One of the most common ways to protect assets from a divorce is through a prenuptial agreement. While not the most loving conversation, it is a smart financial move, and it can help couples speak frankly about their finances and their financial philosophy. However, for a prenuptial agreement to be legally valid and enforceable, it must disclose all of one’s personal assets. And, this is why some people may be leery of prenuptial agreements because they may not want to disclose all of their financial fortunes to their future spouse, which is where an irrevocable trust may be able to help.

Why avoid disclosure?

Especially for those that have already gone through a divorce or more than one divorce, they may worry that money could come between the couple. After all, it is one of the most commonly cited reasons for a divorce. Of course, a marriage counselor would likely question whether one should be getting married if they do not want to disclose everything to their future spouse. But, nonetheless, the fear is real and understandable.

How to avoid full disclosure

Well, if there is an issue with full disclosure, the easiest answer is to not own the assets when the prenup is signed. To do this, one can transfer those assets that they do not want to disclose into an irrevocable trust for the benefit of their children or another designated beneficiary in a state that has “no exception creditors,” like Alaska, Nevada or South Dakota. One could even use an offshore jurisdiction. This would mean that when the prenup is signed, those assets are literally not owned by anyone signing the prenup, which means they do not need to be disclosed.

What if one needs those assets later?

These assets do not simply disappear. If one needs access to the assets held by the trust, the trustee can simply add the creator of the trust as one of the beneficiaries. Of course, this can get complicated, which is why Dublin, Ohio, residents and those in North West Columbus generally, should contact an attorney for divorce advice, both before a marriage and when one actually needs a divorce.