I have written about how a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can be an element in an effective financial plan or an estate plan. Many people believe that it is very expensive to have a prenup or postnup drawn up. The expense will depend totally on the situation, and may not be nearly as large as you might think.
*The costs discussed in this blog are merely estimates of standard costs in a fairly simple situation. Costs will vary widely depending on a large number of variables that can come into play as discussed herein.
Factors That Determine Cost
1. Numbers And Types Of Assets Owned By The Parties
If a prenup or postnup is needed at all, the parties probably have a number of assets, or at least assets of a specific type or history, that lead them to seek the protection of such an agreement. If only one or two properties are involved, the agreement will be simpler and less expensive. The cost still depends, however, on the other factors.
2. Conditions To Be Set Out In The Agreement
A prenup or postnup can cover a broad range of subjects dealing with conditions to be placed on each party’s ownership, management, use of and access to income from the properties. Special provisions can be made for how one spouse’s separate property may be used to support the other spouse, both during the marriage and after the death of that spouse.
The agreement also may set out a division of property in the event of divorce and upon the death of each party. The complexity of the agreement in setting out all these conditions is a big factor in determining the cost.
3. Difficulty Getting Family Members On Board
Parties drawing up a prenup or postnup likely have children from a prior marriage who may have strong opinions. These family members often have a strong influence over the parties on what terms should be included regarding the preservation of their parent’s separate property. I have found that satisfying these family issues can sometimes greatly complicate the drafting of the agreement and add to the cost.
4. Follow-Up Steps Needed To Implement The Agreement
After the agreement has been drafted, there may be follow-up steps needed to fully implement the terms, such as:
- Placing notice of certain restrictions on the use of assets of public record
- Notifying third parties holding assets of specific terms of the agreement
These steps also may add to the cost.
Save Money With A Well-Drawn Prenup Or Postnup
In conclusion, the ballpark cost of having a prenup or postnup prepared and evaluated can range anywhere from about $1,000 to several thousand dollars depending on all of these factors.
This is a situation where, if the parties have property of significant enough value to warrant the protection of such agreement, they should be willing to spend what it takes for an attorney to accomplish that successfully.
A well-drawn prenup or postnup can save thousands of dollars in legal fees in a divorce or estate proceeding, where what property belongs to each spouse is clearly set out, so that elaborate tracing of assets can be avoided.
If you would like to talk about more about probate or administration of an estate, please call Adair M. Buckner for a free initial consultation.*
** Please remember that the cost estimates given are only general, ballpark numbers for the Amarillo area and the costs can vary widely depending on many variables in your individual situation.