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Legacy Matters
BlogsPublications | June 16, 2020
4 minute read
Legacy Matters

When a Prenuptial Agreement Isn’t an Option

I’m a believer that creating a thoughtful, sensible prenuptial agreement is an important step in the wedding planning process. But, these agreements are often avoided because it can be uncomfortable to suggest one, much less discuss the specifics. (Click here for our previous blog post, “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue—Approaching Prenuptial Agreements Positively.”)

And, while it can be a more comfortable topic when viewed as an opportunity for healthy conversations around finances and expectations for the marriage (similar to those included in premarital counseling required by many religions), sometimes, even with a counselor’s help, your fiancé simply will not agree to enter a prenuptial agreement.
If a prenuptial agreement isn’t in the cards for you, there are other ways to achieve at least one common goal of prenuptial agreements: protecting the family business, family legacy assets and other assets acquired prior to marriage.


Below are some strategies that in Michigan, and other “separate property” states, can help identify and protect assets acquired prior to marriage even if you don’t have a prenuptial agreement. Because property and marital laws vary from state to state, you should consult with your attorney prior to relying on these strategies, to ensure they work in your jurisdiction.

    Help is Available

    A prenuptial agreement should be considered a part of good financial, estate and business planning. If an agreement is not possible, you do have other options to protect your assets. Contact your Warner attorney or Susan Meyers (616.752.2184 or for planning assistance to help you prepare for an upcoming marriage.