Gary Rycroft column

Gary Rycroft.
Gary Rycroft.

Last week I wrote about ‘prenups’ and the recent recommendation by The Law Commission (the body that recommends law reform to the Government) that ‘Qualifying Nuptial Agreements’ be given legal standing if they meet certain safeguards.

I made the point that the cost of paying a solicitor to draw up such an Agreement would be buttons compared to even the cost of the wedding itself, never mind a messy divorce afterwards.

Prenups are about protecting assets owned prior to marriage, so may be of even more relevance on second and subsequent marriages, where they may be assets and children from an earlier marriage to think about.

Wills are another essential tool in the armour of protecting assets for future generations and again where there has been more than one marriage the use of trusts in Wills can be a relatively simple yet effective way if pulling off the trick of providing for a second (or even third spouse) and children from earlier relationships.

And what about those of us who aren’t married? Just as there are prenups there are also ‘No-nups’ or ‘Cohabitation Agreements’ where by unmarried couples can draw up a document along the same lines as a prenup.

And indeed for a couple who aren’t married or in a civil partnership there is even more reason to make a Will, as at present there are no automatic inheritance rights for an unmarried partner.

Prevention is always better than cure and if avoiding legal problems post relationship break down or death can be achieved by taking the time to put in place well thought out legal arrangements, don’t you owe it to yourself and loved ones to do that? Having a legally binding document which sets out who gets what and when will be well worth it for all concerned.

And the counter view? The Marriage Foundation (a charity which promotes marriage) have said prenups are not to be encouraged because by thinking about divorce you are sending couples down that path before they even start.

But isn’t that like saying making a Will going to make you die sooner? I hope not because I tend to update my Will every couple of years.