This Case Calls For A Prenup

Carl is about to get married. He is concerned about getting a prenuptial agreement since he has a net worth of about $1.5 million. Would Dave recommend it? Dave thinks he should and explains why.

QUESTION: Carl in San Diego is 36 and about to get married. He is concerned about getting a prenuptial agreement since he has a net worth of about $1.5 million. Would Dave recommend it? Dave thinks he should and explains why.

ANSWER: I’d probably get a prenup. I don’t recommend them until you hit that point because if it’s below that point, I recommend that you just do the work on the relationship. Here has been my experience, Carl, in working with wealthy people for 20-something years. What I find is that people like you who have worked their tail end off and by 36 years old have $1.5 million, they’re fairly normal people. You’re just a regular guy. We could go have a cup of coffee and probably have a lot in common and you’re just a regular dude. You’re not some wacko. But the weird thing is that sometimes, people who have a little bit of wealth or a lot of wealth attract wackos. Or if not, then the person you marry’s mother is a wacko. You just get into these other things and because there are this many zeroes on it, just to keep everything pure, I do believe in prenups.

It’s not you I’m worried about being weird, and I am really not that worried about her being weird. She may have some family that is. In most cases, they do. Because of the wealth, you have a higher potential to attract weirdness. I think you’ve got a valid concern. I also think you need to do a lot of premarital counseling and discussion about money because you have an extra strain on your marriage. You don’t—as a man—want to put money on a bigger pedestal than your wife. You want to love her well before you love money well. Having said that, you have this extra responsibility and strain on your relationship. You really need to dig into that in your premarital counseling and talk that through because it’s a potential stumbling block for you later on.

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