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At stalemate over pre-nup - does this sound unfair?

(34 Posts)
JynErso Mon 12-Sep-16 14:02:16

My fiancé and I have a great relationship - he's kind and thoughtful and we communicate well. But we're stalemated over a pre-nup.

Before we even got engaged we discussed the need for a pre-nuptial agreement and carefully thought out wills if we took our relationship forward. We've now got separate, independent legal advice and have undertaken full disclosure of our finances. At the final moment - when the agreement was about to be drawn up (and also new wills) - he has announced that he's decided that just my money should be protected (from him) and not his (from me). And likewise, that although he knows that if I die first he will not inherit the my estate (there will be a separate life insurance policy to provide for him), he will be leaving everything to me, as well as setting up the previously agreed life insurance.

He isn't trying to manipulate me into not having a pre-nup at all, which is what my solicitor immediately 'warned' when she heard that the pre-nup will be so one sided from his solicitor.

But he is being extremely irrational, and it concerns me. For a start, it seems unfair, to him and to his family (such as his nieces, who until our marriage would inherit his estate). I guess that's his choice. And his family won't know our financial agreements anyway.

But I feel like him making this financial decision based on sentiment rather than anything rational might come back to haunt us - he might begin to feel resentful that he placed more trust on me not docking him over than he does for me, or something? That's my real concern, I think.

We haven't rowed about it, but I've asked if he would reconsider (he usually does as I ask, if I have a good reason for it) and he said -nicely- no. That it doesn't sit right with him to protect his assets from me, but that he entirely supports me doing so from him and will never be resentful.

My solicitor is therefore now accepting of this (though rather too cheerful about it for my liking) and wants to get on and draft the agreement.


Arseicle Mon 12-Sep-16 14:04:56

Isn't a little patronising of you to tell him his wishes are not right? That he can't decide for himself?
He wants his estate to go to his wife if he dies, there is nothing wrong with that, particularly as from te sound of it he has no children (Im guessing you do).
I don't see the problem here.

JynErso Mon 12-Sep-16 14:22:05

God, I think you're right. That is patronising.

I guess my own feelings about having pre-nup is at the bottom of it. It feels like a twattish thing to do (though I know intellectually that it's not.) But he first raised it which made it feel more okay, somehow.

ineedamoreadultieradult Mon 12-Sep-16 14:25:25

Ok so I'm assuming the pre nuptials is so that your children/dependants are protected incase of divorce/death. If he has no children (again I'm assuming) then it makes perfect sense the pre-nup would be one sided.

hellsbellsmelons Mon 12-Sep-16 14:39:56

Just go with it as he has suggested.
You can always do 'the right thing' by his nieces should he go first and leave his estate to you!

paranormalish Mon 12-Sep-16 14:43:31

Are you financial situations broadly similar? If they are it is all much of a muchness.

When I got married because my fiance had two houses her friends advised her to sign a prenup. Along the lines of we walk away with whatever we brought to the marriage. I was more than happy with this and explained to her that her prenup protected me not her. We don't have a pre nup :-(

Viewofhedges Mon 12-Sep-16 14:44:18

If this was me I'd want to talk it through again but ultimately would respect their wish just as they are respecting mine. Why not just agree to review wills every 10 years or if there is a big life change? Families are complicated and I'm assuming you're not both very young and fancy free. But his decision to gift you his estate but not resent you not gifting yours to him does not sound like a problem unless you make it so. He loves you, wants to marry you, wants you to inherit his things. You love him, want to marry him, also have your own wishes for your estate. As long as you both respect that then it seems a shame to create issues.

Also, if you are going to inherit from him there is NOTHING to stop you then willing his (now your) estate or part of it to his nieces. You can ring fence it for them if you feel it's the right thing to do. Or, if your wills don't already deal with it, then you can suggest that his current 'dependants' are covered in your mutual wills if you both die on the same day, for example.

Get it done, put it in a drawer, and concentrate on your marriage. Congrats, by the way. Sounds like he's a good one!

VodkaValiumLattePlease Mon 12-Sep-16 14:47:58

Well Para you could always not go after her two houses you know?

JynErso Mon 12-Sep-16 14:51:53

Yes, I have children, he doesn't. But he has inherited some money and stands to inherit more and it seems unfair that me/my children would get that money - when we have our own - rather than it staying in his family. I wonder how they would feel about it if by some chance our financial agreement came out.

I would definitely do the right thing if either our relationship broke down or he died. But I know he would too - and yet I'm still insisting on a pre-nup to make that agreement clear to the courts, and he isn't.

Maybe I'm overthinking this, though.

JaneAustinAllegro Mon 12-Sep-16 14:57:21

if you're i the UK, maybe mutual wills / trusts would be a more effective way of reaching the outcome you're seeking? have you discussed that with your solicitor?

Gazelda Mon 12-Sep-16 14:59:12

He's respecting and supporting your wish for a prenup and your reasons behind it.
I think you should give him the same consideration.
A previous poster suggested re-writing your wills every 10 years or at major life events. I think this is a good suggestion.
If the people he is likely to inherit from want to ensure the inheritance doesn't go 'outside the family' then they can make allowances for that in their own wills.

JynErso Mon 12-Sep-16 15:24:21

Viewofhedges Thank you smile. Yes he is a good'un and I'm now squirming at earlier telling him his 'what's mine is yours but what's yours is your own' attitude is a bit sexist. blush

We do have an agreed review point being inserted into the pre-nup - I think legally there has to be, anyway. It's at the point that my youngest DC turns 18 and I would imagine we'll be able to change it dramatically at that point (more in his favour).

Jane That's a good point and I am indeed setting up trusts for my DC. I am setting up a small trust for some separate money that was an insurance policy paid out for the purpose of my children's education. Unfortunately it would remove too much flexibility from me to do it with any more money - I live in a very expensive city so most of it is tied up in my home.

Gazelda that is a very good point about his own family being able to make their own intention clear in their own wills.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Mon 12-Sep-16 15:31:14

He likes his wife-to-be more than his nieces.

He recognises that, should he die, his wife-to-be will bear the burden of bringing up children - and while they are not 'his', he wants them to have the same standard of living if they would do when he was alive.

I think you need to go and give him a cuddle and thank him for being so thoughtful, to be honest flowers

paranormalish Mon 12-Sep-16 15:39:41


"Well Para you could always not go after her two houses you know?"

I think you have missed the point of my message.

MatildaTheCat Mon 12-Sep-16 15:45:15

He wants you and your children to benefit from his demise rather than his nieces. That's very nice. Perhaps you could ask that some provision is made for them since he meant to leave them his estate. Maybe they were unaware of his plans anyway.

He sounds very decent.

RedMapleLeaf Mon 12-Sep-16 15:49:08

I agree, accept his decision. His reasoning is sound and un-cynical even though you feel it naive. Once you inherit it is yours and you can choose how to spend the money, including giving it all to his nieces.

MaddyHatter Mon 12-Sep-16 15:55:11

while i accept his nieces will inherit, surely they will also be inheriting from both of their parents?

Perhaps he doesn't feel the need a third inheritance of a substantial amount?

If its what he wants, then go with it, i always assumed a prenup was to protect you in the event of a divorce, not death, so as such, it really shouldn't matter who inherits, thats a matter for his will, and as such, his decision.

KarmaNoMore Mon 12-Sep-16 16:08:54

There are times when it is ok to smile sweetly and say "Thank you". This is one of them.

What I don't understand is why do you insist in a prenuptial when what you want will be covered mostly by a marriage certificate and prenuptials are not legally binding in the UK.

With regards to:
"I would definitely do the right thing if either our relationship broke down or he died. But I know he would too. "

Don't we all? grin

(Sorry, I have not yet met a single divorced person who doesn't say something in the likes of "I could never ever imagined he/she would behave like that!!!")

JynErso Mon 12-Sep-16 16:17:01

Yes Maddy the pre-nup is to make clear our intentions for if we divorce. It's separate to the wills and actually is what I'm upset about. It's unpleasant to think about finances in the event of divorce when we're feeling loved up and planning our wedding and looking forward to being married. It almost feels grubby, or hedge-betting.

My reaction to that is sucking it up and knowing it's the sensible thing to do and his is deciding not to do it. Which is another thing I just have to suck up, I guess.

JynErso Mon 12-Sep-16 16:27:08

Well, Karma, quite. grin
Hence the pre-nuptial agreement.

And whilst they're not legally binding, there is good legal precedent for them being accepted as an advisory document by the court these days.

A marriage certificate will give the opposite result of what I want - in that if we divorced our assets would be viewed as a joint pot. So if he went on a bender and gambled away his assets and refused to work then divorced me then I could have to move my children to a smaller home to buy him out of mine. It is that kind of (unlikely but possible) scenario that a pre-nup can help to mitigate against.

KarmaNoMore Mon 12-Sep-16 17:05:09

Just smile sweetly and say thank you, honestly grin

JynErso Mon 12-Sep-16 17:16:16

I don't want to fake being grateful and in the process be dishonest about how I feel. Not about something as fundamental as this, at least.

But I do accept that it doesn't appear as grossly unfair to other people as it does to me. (God, I'm glad I didn't put this in AIBU. I'd be getting a kicking right about now.)

It's something I need to work through, I think, and that we need to discuss some more.

And I see I missed a few messages earlier. Thanks all. flowers And Lonny, what a nice way you found to explain what he might be thinking. That helps me think about it a bit differently.

Bloopbleep Mon 12-Sep-16 17:21:44

Maybe he just doesn't contemplate divorce? Whether you think that's naive or silly really is neither here nor there.

YetAnotherGuy Mon 12-Sep-16 20:40:44

At first I thought you were my dear future DIL!

I think that

He is a very nice person

You are a very nice person

You are going to be his wife for God's sake!

JynErso Mon 12-Sep-16 20:57:42

YetAnotherGuy that made me laugh.

Yes I'll be his wife and am very happy about that. smile

Bloopbleep I understand what you're saying about not contemplating divorce, but the sad fact is that 50% of marriages end in divorce these days.
I definitely don't think he's naive or silly. smile

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