Do you need one?
Dr. Janet Taylor: We have all heard of the beautiful soon-to-be bride, who gets to her rehearsal dinner only to be served with a pressure-filled pre-nup, Ouch. Now for all of the money-earnin', or lottery-winning, or even surprise huge inheritance-gaining women, think 'POST-NUP'.
Women are making tremendous economic strides in the workplace and are leaders at home. Women over 40 influence and control 90% of their families' household financial decisions. There are economic circumstances and issues that arise that weren't present at the beginning of the marriage. For example, you may be on a second marriage, or have a blended family with circumstances arising that need to be discussed and documented in the present moment without waiting for a will.
Talking about a post-nup, after years of wedded bliss, can lead to hurt feelings and confusion. Husbands may feel like their world is crashing and wives may feel set-up. Arlene Dubin, a noted lawyer and author of "Prenups for Lovers," states that it is never too late to figure out "yours, mine and ours."
As women, we need to think more strategically about our love and commitment during a relationship. Doing so doesn't diminish our caring ... it can simply indicate forethought. I admit, it can be a difficult conversation. Imagine this scenario. You are sitting on the sofa connecting over ESPN. As you pour your sweetie another beer, you calmly blurt out, "Honey, I want a post-nup". Wiping a sudden shower of hops from your Tory Burch shirt, he says, "Are you out of your mind?" You say, "No, I love you and what we have, but our finances have changed and we need to figure things out together."
Clearly, an estate planner and legal advice are needed. Post-nups can be helpful if a divorce happens, and actually ease the acrimony. They do not provide custody arrangements. Simply, put they can provide peace of mind, and get you started on what hopefully is a beneficial conversation about your finances and property. The number-one cause of conflict in marriages is money. If you didn't have a pre-nup, consider a Post-Nup. It's never too late! (Just serve a drink that doesn't stain!)
|Dr. Janet Taylor is a clinical instructor of psychiatry at Columbia University at Harlem Hospital, and is a consumer health strategist and certified life coach. Her company, Mind Projects, Inc., specializes in corporate stress management and consumer health strategies. She practices in Chelsea and lives with her husband and four daughters in New York.|