The summer wedding surge is turning the spotlight on financial planning for couples as pre-nup season kicks in for wealth managers and solicitors, leading wealth manager, Investec Wealth & Investment says.
It has seen rising demand from its clients over the past 10 years for pre-nuptial agreements particularly as they are now more widely recognised by courts in the event of divorce. The rise in demand Investec Wealth & Investment has seen is in line with research1 from think tank The Marriage Foundation which found one in five (20%) couples married since 2000 have pre-nuptial agreements.
Solicitors Moore Barlow have also seen growing interest in pre-nups – there was a ‘huge spike in 2021/22 post-COVID but the past five years have seen 10% annual rises each year.
That compares with just 1.5% married in the 1970s, 5% in the 80s and 8% in the 90s, the study found, showing it’s not just the preserve of wealth celebrity couples such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West and (the still married) Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban.
Prenuptial agreements – also known as antenuptial agreements, or premarital agreements – are written contracts entered into by a couple before marriage or a civil union that enables them to attempt to select and control many of the legal rights they acquire upon marrying, and what happens if their marriage ends in divorce.
They are typically more common with second and third marriages where couples are wealthier and may have children. However, they are also being used where couples come from wealthy backgrounds or if parents or grandparents have made a major gift such as a house deposit.
Faye Church, Financial Planning Director at Investec Wealth & Investment, said: “As the majority of weddings take place in the summer months, the need to get one’s affairs in order before tying the knot has meant that if a pre-nup is to be added, it makes the wedding list of “things to do”.
“It may not be the most romantic of tasks to be on the wedding to do list, but we plan for what happens to our monies when we die, so why not plan for what happens financially if a marriage breaks down?”
Jo Farrands, Partner and Head of Family at Moore Barlow, said: “Discussing finances at the start of your marriage may seem unromantic but it can make a huge difference to the relationship long-term. It is amazing how many couples we still see who never discussed finances and then they find out, once married, that they have a completely different approach and attitude to such an important thing which can then cause huge problems further down the line.”
Without a pre-nup the starting point on divorce is a 50/50 split of assets which can mean family wealth being lost and children of previous marriages losing out. Pre-nups are seen as an insurance policy and can be relatively inexpensive to set up.
It is very important to take specialist advice on the contents and implications whether you are the one being asked to sign or asking someone else to sign. For pre-nups to be adhered to by a court they have to comply with the safeguards below, Jo Farrands says.
- Both parties need to have independent legal advice
- There has to be full financial disclosure of each other’s affairs so that both parties know what they are signing up to
- It needs to be signed at least 28 days before the wedding
- It needs to pass the test of fairness. A pre-nuptial agreement that seeks to leave one party with nothing is unlikely to be upheld by the courts.
Investec Wealth & Investment works closely with individual clients to plan and manage their wealth, and with charities, trusts and clients of professional advisers to help deliver optimal returns on their investments and bring financial peace of mind.
As one of the UK’s leading wealth management companies Investec Wealth & Management focuses on a relationship-based approach to Financial Planning and Investment Management with the purpose of making a tangible and meaningful difference to clients and their families.
About Investec Wealth & Investment (UK)
As one of the UK’s leading wealth management firms, we are trusted with managing £40.7 billion (as at 31 March 2023) of our clients’ money. Our wealth teams work hard at providing Out of the Ordinary levels of service to our clients and with an investment heritage dating back to 1827, we’re built for the long term.
Investec Wealth & Investment (UK) is a trading name of Investec Wealth & Investment Limited which is a subsidiary of Rathbones Group Plc. Investec Wealth & Investment Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is registered in England. Registered No. 2122340. Registered Office: 30 Gresham Street. London. EC2V 7QN. Member firm of the London Stock Exchange.
Investec Wealth & Investment (UK) is a trading name of Investec Wealth & Investment Limited which is a subsidiary of Rathbones Group Plc. Investec Wealth & Investment Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is registered in England. Registered No. 2122340. Registered Office: 30 Gresham Street. London. EC2V 7QN.