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Prenuptial Agreement or Trust: How to Best Protect Assets

Few people in Connecticut preparing for marriage wish to consider potentially rocky days ahead. However, the fact remains that nearly 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce. As the median age for those entering a first marriage rises, those getting married are often coming in with more personal assets acquired before the marriage. In what ways can a person protect personal assets while avoiding the emotionally difficult option of signing a prenuptial agreement?

Those who fail to properly protect their assets before entering a marital contract may find themselves facing a high-asset divorce with the possibility of losing large portions of their personal wealth. Although those in love don't wish to plan for failure, protecting oneself from future loss can be a good idea.

Although not as secure as a prenuptial agreement, several types of trusts are available that can protect personal interests and help individuals to avoid the distribution of assets to unintended beneficiaries. Laws that vary from state to state govern the amount of protection each trust provides. They also provide timelines for when assets must be established and protected in order to eliminate them from a dispute in the event of divorce.

Individuals with assets who are considering marriage may find it beneficial to consult with a lawyer. Since laws concerning marital property and division of wealth vary greatly from state to state, individuals in Connecticut may find it important to learn which laws can protect personal assets in their state. It may be that offshore trusts can help more in a particular situation while another situation could be improved with the establishment of a self-settled trust. The trusts that protect assets in some states may not provide that same protection in Connecticut.

Source: Barron's, "Divorce Trusts", Tatiana Serafin, May 18, 2013

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