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Answer: My position with prenups is that everyone (even couples living together) should have them. For one thing, working on the draft, as you are now doing, tells you something about your future spouse.
And yes, each party should be represented by his or her own attorney during the negotiation and then the signing.
Your interpretation seems correct (although it's kind of difficult to read through one long paragraph). Yes, if your husband dies, you won't get any of his separate property, including anything he buys from his separate property. Yes to your other questions, too - you wouldn't have to pay for one another's medical or funeral expenses, etc.
One thing that jumped out at me, in addition to what you asked about, is that there don't seem to be time limitations. Often, in prenups, terms change after folks have been married five years, or ten, or whatever; the way what you sent me seems to be written, the same terms would apply even for 50 years.
You do not have to agree to the prenup as written. You can negotiate. And although painful, this is also a good time to assess whether or not you want to get married under these conditions.
I would suggest that you and your fiance do a little bit of talking, and talk through your concerns - then have two attorneys fine-tune the language. Then, think about it some more.
Please write back to me if I haven't answered all your questions - I tried to, but it was a little hard to read through. There's no extra charge for follow-ups, of course.
All my best,
There can sometimes be a delay of an hour or more in between my followup answers because I may be helping other customers, conducting legal research, or taking a break. If we're writing late in the evening, I may need to get some sleep and resume helping you the following morning.
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Is the language in this prenup standard?
That's a more difficult question than you may realize, but the simple answer is "yes."
With computers, and even before, most attorneys start out with boilerplate language in a template that either the attorney sits down and writes; or the attorney gets it out of a book, from a class, or from another attorney. As times passes, and the attorney becomes more experienced, or the law changes, he or she will probably edit his or her boilerplate over the years. Often (especially in larger firms), a paralegal, legal assistant, or other non-attorney will take the basic information (name, address, etc) and plug it into the boilerplate, perhaps making some changes here and there, adding or subtracting paragraphs, etc.
(The same is true for virtually any other legal document an attorney prepares for you, from wills to trusts to contracts).
Some attorneys carefully read everything that their assistant has prepared. Regrettably, some attorneys don't - not everyone is a good, thorough attorney.
So, all that said, this is why it's so important to talk these things through, and have your own attorney review it (if a lot of money is involved, in particular) before signing.
Now, I always tell people to put terms in there about basic housekeeping, such as who will take out the trash, wash the dishes, have cleaning duties, and etc. Although I am half-joking when I suggest this to people, unless a couple has lived together for quite some time - long enough to know, for example, whether you have compatible standards for leaving or washing the dishes - working out these things ahead of time - just talking about them, at least - is a good, practical exercise.
Besides household chores, it's also important to decide how bills will be split (who pays for dinner? Will you have a joint account? Who pays the mortgage? Will there be limits on expenditures for clothes, furniture, vehicles, etc? Does your spouse pay bills on time or wait until he gets two late notices?
And - it's important to talk about sex and sexual expectations (but this is not usually written in a prenup - that doesn't mean it can't be - anything and everything can go into a prenup).
Does that help? I hope so! I'll check back a little later to see if you have any more questions. I'm happy to answer them!
If you're done, please remember to click on "accept" - otherwise I won't get paid anything at all!
My best, XXXXX XXXXX's hoping you'll have a happy marriage that will last 100 years,
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