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Why students might want to create a prenuptial agreement

Students and other young people in California who are getting married might think that they do not need a prenuptial agreement because they have few assets. However, there are a number of advantages to creating a prenup.

One is that students may have a significant amount of debt. This could be particularly true for students who are in law or medical school. Furthermore, a prenuptial agreement can plan for how property will be divided when the couple does start to earn money. In some cases, students may have assets they are not fully aware of. Creating a prenup gives them an opportunity to learn more about their own finances as well as the other person's. The couple may also want to talk about their values associated with money.

One other consideration for young people may be the estate plan. The prenup is no substitute for putting together an estate plan, but in addition to that, a prenup can also address what happens to assets in the event of one person's death. Some young people may want their property to go to their parents instead of to the spouse.

Since California is a community property state, a prenup may be particularly important. Any property acquired after marriage in a community property state is supposed to be divided equally. This could mean that if one person starts a business after the two are married, the other person would be able to claim 50 percent of it even if that person had little to do with the creation of the business. Prenuptial agreements must be prepared correctly or they might not hold up court. For example, if the prenup was prepared and signed right before the wedding, it could appear that one spouse was coerced into signing. Both spouses might benefit from hiring separate lawyers to represent their interests.

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