How To Make A Will: Understanding The Legal Process

Do you want to prepare your last will and testament to leave a legacy for your loved ones and family members? Have you been scouring the internet, trying to determine all the legalities involved but are not sure where to get started? Learning how to make a will is not nearly as complicated as you may think, but there are key elements to consider when creating yours. Whether you are just thinking about making a will or are on the fence as to if you even need one at all, our comprehensive guide will give you the tools you need to move in the right direction.

What Is A Will?


In simplest terms, a will is a legally binding document that details your last requests in the event of your death. The person creating the will is known as the testator. The requirements involved for how to make a will legally binding diverge based on state. It is important to know of some general mandates to make sure you follow each step to the letter.

Key Elements 

There are key elements to know of when learning how to make a will. To begin with, a legally binding will must always be put down in writing. Depending on your state, a handwritten will may suffice. However, only around 25 of the 50 states acknowledge handwritten wills as legally binding, so check your state regulations for further information. If you can use a handwritten or holographic will, it must be composed, signed, and dated by you alone.

A small fraction of states will acknowledge oral wills, known as nuncupative wills, usually in rare instances such as deathbed requests. Several states will also recognize a video recording of your last will and testament. However, it is always a good idea to obtain legal counsel before going this route, as many states do not accept them and they are often best suited to accompany an actual written will.

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When learning how to make a will, you must carefully compose the body of the will to include any beneficiaries you choose. The body must name any people you will leave your possessions and estate to, like your spouse, children, other family members, and friends. In the event that you are purposely leaving someone out of your will, you must spell this out in the document.

If you have minor children, you will want to list the individual you are appointing as their guardian in the will. A valid will must also list each possession and the piece of property you will bequeath, with instructions for how they are to be relayed to the beneficiary. Exceptions to this rule would be an insurance policy or if your estate is under a joint tenancy, in which case your assets automatically go to the living beneficiary or tenant upon your death. Finally, your will needs to name the executor of the document and an alternative choice in the event that the former cannot perform his or her duties.  

Do You Need A Will?

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In a Nutshell

One of the main considerations that arise when considering how to make a will is if you even need a will. No matter how small your assets may be, it is always a good idea to create a legally binding will so your property does not get caught in probate or go through unnecessary channels before reaching your preferred beneficiaries.

It may be difficult to think about and plan for your death. Yet, it is far better to prepare for the unexpected for the sake of your loved ones and to ensure that your property transitions to the individuals of your choosing.

Things to Consider 

If you were to choose not to make a will, your property would automatically pass to the state upon your death, leaving them responsible for determining who they transmit it to. If you are married and have children, in most cases your assets will pass directly to your spouse and kids. If you do not have a spouse or children, the state will usually bequeath those assets to your closest relatives.

In the event that none of these individuals exist as beneficiaries, your assets become the property of the state. If you have children, it is even more imperative to learn how to make a will. If you do not have a will drawn up, upon your death, the courts will decide who your minor children and property will go to if your spouse or the children's other parent is not of sound mind to care for them.  

How To Make A Will And The Legal Process

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Step-by-Step Guide 

The first step in learning how to make a will is to decide how you will create it. You may do it on your own using one of the many software programs available or consult an attorney to draw it up for you. Using a valid software program or legal services are the best routes as drawing it up on your own could result in an invalid document.  

Next, you need to consider who you want to list as the beneficiaries in your will. Your beneficiaries are the individuals who will receive your assets, whether those assets be monetary, physical property, or other types of possessions.

The following important step in how to make a will is to select the individual you want to act as the executor. This is the person who will ensure the requests detailed in your will are followed to the letter. You might select your attorney or bank as the executor which will come at a cost of around 2 to 4 percent of your total assets. If you were to choose one of your close friends or a family member as the executor, they should still receive either hourly compensation or part of your final assets for their services.

If you have minor children, you must select a guardian to take care of them. While you are not legally required to ask the individual before listing him or her as a guardian in your will, it is usually a good idea to do so. Otherwise, select three individuals who you would deem wise, responsible guardians and name them in your preferred order in your will.

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Next, you need to consider who you want to list as the beneficiaries in your will. Your beneficiaries are the individuals who will receive your assets, whether those assets be monetary, physical property, or other types of possessions.

The following important step in how to make a will is to select the individual you want to act as the executor. This is the person who will ensure the requests detailed in your will are followed to the letter. You might select your attorney or bank as the executor which will come at a cost of around 2 to 4 percent of your total assets. If you were to choose one of your close friends or a family member as the executor, they should still receive either hourly compensation or part of your final assets for their services.

If you have minor children, you must select a guardian to take care of them. While you are not legally required to ask the individual before listing him or her as a guardian in your will, it is usually a good idea to do so. Otherwise, select three individuals who you would deem wise, responsible guardians and name them in your preferred order in your will.

Another important step to remember in learning how to make a will is to spell everything out clearly. You do not want your will to be unclear or prone to interpretation. List your beneficiaries and their allotment of your estate concretely so there is no confusion later. It can be difficult to make sure that everyone you choose is receiving a portion you feel is fair and just. The ultimate decision is up to you, but you may consult with your heirs, particularly your spouse or children to see what assets have meaning to them and those which do not.

Sometimes, learning how to make a will that is valid and legally binding may not allow you to relay your final thoughts to your designated beneficiaries to your satisfaction. You may also write a letter as an appendix to the will that can be read to your heirs and explain your wishes in full.

Creating A Valid Will 

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One of the most important aspects of how to make a will that is binding is to have witnesses sign it. Without the signatures of at least two witnesses, your last will and testament will be considered invalid. Much of the time, those witnesses cannot be listed beneficiaries in your will. They must also be no younger than 18 years of age. The witnesses need to watch as you sign your name and date the will, then sign their names afterwards.  

Part of learning how to make a will is to ensure that it is safe and secure until the day it needs to be executed. Once you have completed your will, put it in a secure place known to a trusted few. You want your will to be safe, but you also want it to be easily found by your chosen family members or friends in the event of your passing. You may have several copies of the will, but it is best to keep the original one in a location like a fireproof safe or other secure storage space.


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Learning how to make a will that is legally binding and carries out your wishes to the letter is not inherently complicated. It requires some careful thought, consideration, and time beforehand. Do not create a will without using valid software programs or seeking the advice of an attorney as this could result in an invalid document.

It is important to remember that your will might need to be updated during the passage of the years. If you get married, divorced, have children, or experience any other similar life-changing events, you will need to update your will with the appropriate beneficiaries. Check your will every 2 or 3 years to see if changes need to be made and make sure everything is up to date.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: What Are Your Rights?

However common, sexual harassment in the workplace is an unfortunate and illegal practice. Sexual harassment is classified as sex discrimination and it is expressly prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If you are experiencing sexual harassment at work, it’s important that you educate yourself on your rights and what actions you can take against it.

Here we will discuss what sexual harassment in the workplace is, examples of sexual harassment, how you are legally protected, and what you can do about it.

What Is Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?

Sexual harassment in the workplace is defined by the US Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as, “Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.”

The takeaway from this definition is that sexual harassment is any unwanted behavior that is sexual in nature. In the workplace, sexual harassment may take the form of directly sexual behaviors like touching. Sexual harassment also includes non-sexual behaviors that negatively generalize a person or group of people based on sex.

Federal law and state law protect employees from sexual harassment in the workplace. Some states have stricter sexual harassment laws. Investigate the laws for your state for more specific state law information on sexual harassment.

Examples of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment may come from non-verbal, physical, verbal, or visual behaviors. The following are examples of behaviors that qualify as sexual harassment in the workplace.

Non-Verbal Sexual Harassment

  • Hovering or following around
  • Sexual facial expressions
  • Sexual gestures
  • Staring

Physical Sexual Harassment

  • Assault
  • Blocking movement
  • Grabbing
  • Unwanted hugging
  • Unwanted kissing
  • Unwanted petting
  • Unwanted touching

Verbal Sexual Harassment

  • Requesting sexual acts
  • Sexual innuendos
  • Sexual jokes
  • Sexual threats
  • Unwanted comments about body
  • Unwelcome comments about gender

Visual Sexual Harassment

  • Sexual photos
  • Sexual videos
  • Sexual drawings
  • Sexual emails

Types of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Severe or Pervasive Cases

Sexual harassment in the workplace may be severe, pervasive, or both as defined by law.


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Severe cases of sexual harassment are solitary incidents of extreme sexual harassment or sexual violence. Most times, courts will not permit sexual harassment cases for single incidents unless it is deemed severe.


Pervasive sexual harassment is ongoing. These incidents may be less severe but still damaging. Prolonged exposure to unwanted sexual behavior can negatively impact an individual and the workplace.

Quid Pro Quo

A quid pro quo sexual harassment incident is a singular event. Typically the quid pro quo sexual harassment comes from an authority figure. The authority figure might use their position of power to sexually harass an employee. In these cases, the employee might fear demotion or job loss.  

Hostile Work Environment

A hostile work environment is continuous or pervasive sexual harassment in the workplace. It is defined as unwanted and unwelcome sexual conduct or discrimination based on sex. Hostile work environments are sometimes severe, abusive, and long-lasting.  

Know Your Rights

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Sexual harassment in the workplace is against the law and you have rights. You have the right to work in an environment free from sexual harassment. Your employer is required to take “reasonable action” against any perpetrator of sexual harassment.


It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against you for filing a sexual harassment report. You, or other people who have witnessed and support your claims, legally cannot receive any punishment from your employer for taking action against sexual harassment.

Employer Responsibility

Both federal law and state law strictly prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace. Most employers with 15 or more employees are required to take action that will ensure employees are not subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace.

If the harasser is a supervisor, the employer is legally liable for the behavior. In order for an employer to be held liable for the harassment made by a co-worker, client, or another party, they must know about the sexual harassment claims. Submitting an official sexual harassment report in writing is sufficient notice of this claim.

File a Civil Lawsuit

If your employer fails to correct the situation and change the work environment, you may file a civil lawsuit against your employer. Read the Actions To Take Against Sexual Harassment section for more information before starting a civil lawsuit.

Potential Legal Remedies

A legal remedy is a court-ordered compensation to a victim for damages inflicted pertaining to the case. In sexual harassment cases, victims may be entitled to receive such compensation as:

  • Back-pay
  • Court costs
  • Compensatory damages (emotional ramifications of sexual harassment)
  • Hiring
  • Payment of legal fees
  • Promotion
  • Punitive damages
  •  Front-pay
  • Reinstatement

Actions to Take against Sexual Harassment

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Experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace is traumatic. Everyone deserves a safe workplace free of unwanted and inappropriate behaviors. There are specific actions to take if you are experiencing sexual harassment at work. These procedures cannot guarantee that the situation will change, but they can help you through the process.

Clearly Express Disinterest

Follow Your Company’s Protocol

Thoroughly Document Everything

Keep a Paper Trail

Report Sexual Harassment in Writing

Safeguard Your Notes

File a Complaint with the EEOC

Hire an Attorney


Knowing your rights for sexual harassment in the workplace is a solid first step to bettering your situation. If your employer does not take reasonable action with any expediency, you can move forward with a sexual harassment case.

Sexual harassment cases are among the more difficult cases to prove in a court of law. Meticulously documenting any incidents of sexual harassment and following your company’s protocol will help build your case. After you have taken the right steps against sexual harassment, seek legal counsel to move forward with the civil suit.

The most important thing to know about sexual harassment in the workplace is that it is not acceptable, it is not legal, and you do not have to tolerate it.

Featured Image: Image by Mihai Surdu from Pixabay

How Much Do Lawyers Make: Your Ultimate Guide

Have you ever had to hire a lawyer? It can be a very daunting task but one that is quite necessary when you have a legal situation. Along with all the fees that can be added to your court case, it can be a bit surprising to find out how much do lawyers make from it all.

Going to court is one of the not-so-fun things that we sometimes must do. Whether we are the ones initiating or if someone else is suing us, it can be costly either way. There are ways to keep the cost down if we know how much do lawyers make before we even have them represent us.

How Much Do Lawyers Make?

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The salary amount of a lawyer can be based on what type of attorney they are, years of experience and their education. Here is the breakdown of attorney’s and their salaries.

Corporate Attorney

This attorney represents cases involving businesses and their transactions. Rarely do they actually go to court for these are usually negotiated beforehand. The salary is between $–$$, depending on the size of the firm. In order to get a job in this area of law, you must have graduated from one of the top three law schools: Yale, Harvard or Stanford. But this isn’t enough to land the job - you must also have had excellent grades and a great GPA as well as worked in the field as a clerk.

Public Defender

This is an attorney that represents you in a criminal case when you can’t afford one on your own counsel. This beginning salary is $, but someone having 11 years or more experience could earn $$ in this position.


These are the lawyers that work for the government in your area. They prosecute the cases in a criminal court, representing the people. This salary starts at $ but could be more depending on the agency.

Patent Attorneys

These attorneys, who are also called patent agents, represent those who have created something and need to get a patent or documentation proving ownership for it. They are with the USPTO, which stands for the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Experienced patent attorneys make $$ or more a year.

Personal Trial Attorneys

These lawyers, if they are representing someone very affluent, can earn a lot of money. They can make a salary from around a half a million dollars up to $$$ million annually!

How Much Does A Lawyer Cost?

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Depending upon the services that you need and what kind of rate you agree to, the following are the types of ways your lawyer can bill you. As with all of these, make sure that you have a contract that states what it is that is included in these fees. Watch out for administration and filing fees---for these are generally not included.

Flat Fee

This means that you will not wait until the trial to settle the payment agreement. It could be that you give them the entire amount up front to represent you. This is the simpler method because it is straightforward and leaves no room for surprises on how much do lawyers make. There are some cases in which this works well. They are amicable divorces, immigration cases and bankruptcy disputes, to name a few.

Hourly Rate

It is generally as it sounds. The attorney charges for his services by the hour. They state how long they will need to work on your case and then send you an itemized bill. Of all the ways to bill their clients, this is the most popular one. This rate is not charged without consulting the client first. It is agreed to prior to billing as with all other fees so there are no surprises. Keep in mind on this particular one that the rate will vary depending on certain factors. This includes the location of the firm, business costs and level of experience of the attorney.


This type of fee isn’t used for all cases. It is when you have a case like an accident, collection or injury case; when it is settled, the lawyer takes his or her fee. This is a percentage that is agreed upon prior to the attorney taking your case. This fee is contingent upon the outcome of your case.


This is a payment that you give to the attorney directly to have the counsel start on your case. It is to retain his or her services to help you on your case. When the attorney works on your case, the counsel will be deducting fees from the retainer amount. You will receive statements reflecting monthly charges or another deduction method. Should you decide not to continue to pursue the case for any reason, you will probably not get your money back from the attorney.

Referral Fee

Should your own attorney not be able to represent your specific case due to his lack of experience, they can refer you to a colleague or another firm. This would be an additional fee and would show up on your bill. It is important to verify the experience of your attorney on your case should you not wish it to be referred during the process.

It is important to note on all of these types of fees that these can be used on civil cases. Flat and/or hourly rates are mostly for criminal cases for those take longer and are more entailed. They also require a retainer fee. By knowing these fees, you will know more on how much do lawyers make.

How To Choose The Right One In Your Price Range

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Picking the right lawyer can be the make or break point for your case. It could mean---if you were in a criminal case---the difference between being acquitted or going to jail. This being the case, you should not be quick to grab just any lawyer. It isn’t enough that they have a shingle hanging above their door or their name on a big office; it is their experience that you are paying for.

Does Your Case Need a Lawyer?

This is something that you must consider at the very start, even before deciding on an attorney. Look at the time involved in putting a case together and going to court. Also, apply this knowledge you now have on how much do lawyers make. There is nothing wrong with filing if it is worth it. It will require a lot of effort. Your time is valuable, and it should be compensated so make sure that this case will cover those costs. You might not need to hire a lawyer to do this, but again, your time is money so be wise about your decision. A good attorney makes things go right without all of the stress.


This should be the number one reason to find the best attorney for your case. You need someone that is a liaison between you and the court system. Not all of us have law degrees nor have even stepped foot on the Yale or Harvard campuses. It is important to have a qualified attorney that knows their way around the legal system whether it be taxes, divorce proceedings, injury and DUIs, naming a few. You should not face these alone, and even if it costs more, it will ultimately help you in the long run to have someone in court on your side.

Confirm All Costs

You must verify all the costs that are involved before settling with an attorney. Don’t be afraid to get a written estimate like you would for a car repair. No one says you can’t shop around for best attorney like you shop around for the best car? You might find that one attorney has more fees included, such as admin, filing, etc. But don’t base everything on how much do lawyers make because the price isn’t the only factor. You must feel comfortable with this attorney for he or she will be representing you.


No one likes paperwork. We leave that up to some else when we can, like some administrative assistants. But when we need legal papers to be filled out and filed on our behalf, this is the area that we might not want to make a mistake on. Attorneys are almost essential for this part because they know what the court needs for whatever case that they are representing. They are familiar with due dates, type of forms and even what certain judges need to see to move the case along.  It is best to have a lawyer that you can call that you trust to help with this instead of going it alone. It could be costly for you; it could cause your case not to go your way.


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When you finally get the breakdown on how much do lawyers make, you can see why they charge what they do. Their overall costs are based on the type of case, location, education and experience. It isn’t--in most cases--that they are overcharging you, it is the fact that we must be more aware of their fees. We must verify that we understand exactly what they are charging so there are no surprises. It is hard enough to go through a case against us; we certainly don’t need to add more stress on top of it. Attorneys are there to help, and if you find the right one for you, you won’t mind the costs.

Debunking Prenuptial Agreement Stigmas: 10 Reasons They’re a Good Idea

So you’re thinking about getting married? Bringing up the subject of a prenuptial agreement can seem hurtful and unnecessary to a romance-fueled situation. Many believe that the sole purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to ensure the financial stability of the significantly more well-off member of the union, but a prenup is actually so much more than that.

The financial settlement proceedings of a divorce can be incredibly emotionally-charged and financially ruin both spouses. For these reasons, divorce proceedings can get ugly, and sitting down to discuss a prenup beforehand can keep that from happening, if the union ends. This type of agreement can offer protection to both partners even if both partners aren’t considerably well-off.

What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?

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A prenup is a legal document that determines how assets will be divided and protected in the event of a divorce. These types of agreements might not be as important to young people getting married for the first time. They are just starting out and haven’t yet built a life for themselves; most of their possessions will be shared assets, so it’s impossible to predetermine how to divide them ahead of time.

But if you’re getting married later in life, you’ll probably have more of your own assets to protect. Consider:  you've worked countless hours at the office, and spent years building a life for yourself. If you end up divorcing, you may be forced to give half of it to someone who wasn’t there to build it with you. And honestly, how is that fair?

The Stigma Surrounding Prenuptial Agreements

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A failed relationship is a devastating situation, but it can be planned for. Accepting divorce as a thing that sometimes happens and planning ahead for it can make the consequences less severe for both sides in the event of a split.

At the end of the day, the purpose of a prenuptial agreement is communication and to set expectations within the relationship. You’ll want to make sure you’re both happy with how your own property, any shared property, and, if applicable, alimony payments will be separated and dispersed in the event of a divorce. So why do so many people find the idea of a prenuptial agreement so offensive?

Here are some of the reasons there's a stigma surrounding prenuptial agreements:

Presence Of Doubts

Many argue that the existence of a prenuptial agreement reveals that one partner has doubts or may be expecting an impending marriage to fail. Thinking about the end of a marriage during what should be the “good times” in the relationship might give the appearance that one partner isn’t as happy as the other thought. But that simply isn’t always the case.

Apparent Lack Of Trust

Setting boundaries included in a prenup can also come off like the requesting partner doesn’t trust the other when in reality, you may want protection from things you already know about, such as student debt. Or you may wish to protect your partner from your own debt.

It’s Not Very Romantic

Well, this stigma is actually true. Prenuptial agreements are not romantic topics. They require a couple to venture into uncomfortable territory and imagine the end of a marriage that is just starting out; that is depressing. But that doesn’t mean that the relationship itself has no romance or that the agreement keeps future romance away.

Either way, appearances are just that:  appearances; things are not always as they appear. Your partner could just be cautious. And hey-maybe they are protecting you more than themselves. Many marriages have dissolved before making it down the aisle because one partner jumps to conclusions at the very mention of a prenup.

10 Reasons They're A Good Idea

While there are blanket agreements that cover the basics, couples have the option to create their own agreements better-crafted to their specific lives. It provides a way to tailor and design the agreement to meet specific needs, wants and expectations. No two relationships are the same; therefore, no two prenups should be either. So why consider a prenuptial agreement?

1. They Make Sense

Modern-day society is a place of uncertainty, and marriage is no exception. Situations change. People change. And just like everything else, marriages can end.

Signing a prenuptial agreement shows your partner you’re realistic, responsible and forward-thinking. It means that you’re getting married for the right reasons and not for materialistic ones.

2. High Divorce Rate

It’s no secret that divorce rates among couples have been rising for decades and in the modern day, knowing a divorcee is a pretty common occurrence.

In a world where a large percentage of marriages end in divorce, considering a prenuptial agreement before tying the knot isn’t such a bad idea.

3. Protection of Valuable Assets

When you think of assets, you may think of expensive things. But they can also include items of sentimental and familial value.

In the event of a divorce, a partner may want to ensure that any family heirlooms, such as a pair of diamond earrings that have been in the family for generations, will be kept in their possession regardless of how the marriage ends. Items can also include collectible memorabilia or even a family pet you’d never want to part with.

4. Protects The Victim's Spouse

When it comes to any partnership, there is always the threat that one person may decide to leave. One spouse might not even see it coming, and then the next thing they know, they’re hit with a demand to terminate the relationship immediately.

In these cases, the partner who initiates the divorce has had much more time than the other to prepare for what lies ahead. Having a prenuptial agreement in place ensures that the victim has a plan and doesn’t get bushwhacked in rushed divorce proceedings.

5. Protects Your Credit

Going through a divorce can be traumatic in many ways. And on top of the emotional turmoil, it can pretty quickly destroy your finances and even threaten your financial future. Consequences can include damage to your credit, paying for alimony, your spouse’s debt and child support.

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6. Debt Protection

While one spouse may bring more money into a marriage and wish to sign a prenup, it’s also possible for the opposite to be true.

A prenuptial agreement can also offer protection if one spouse brings significant debt into the relationship. This is an age of student debt after all, and the last thing anyone wants is to add their ex’s debt to their own.

7. It Forces Transparency

Discussing the different aspects of a prenup with your partner involves delving deep into each other’s financial lives. It forces you to examine aspects like each other's credit score, debt and spending habits.

So while a prenuptial agreement will protect you in the future, it also minimizes surprises that can occur during the marriage itself. For example, if your future wife or husband has high amounts of credit card debt, when he or she turns out to be a spender, you won’t be as surprised as you might have been.

8. Promotes Fairness And Equality

Signing a prenuptial agreement is a relatively simple process, and it is done under less emotional conditions. When terminating a marriage, having a prenup helps the couple reach a fair agreement.

However, if you sign an agreement with a cheating clause and one spouse is found guilty of infidelity, then the non-cheating partner will end up with everything.

9. The Reality of Gold-Digging

While a majority of people do get married for the right reasons, there are people out there who don’t. Gold-diggers are real, and they can be very persuasive and manipulative.

If you have high-valued assets, you are at a much-increased risk for attracting these types of people. Insisting that your partner signs a prenuptial agreement ensures that they are marrying you for the right reasons.

10. Decreases Stressfulness

When you sit down with your partner to sign a prenuptial agreement, what you are essentially setting up are the terms of separation. If you happen to separate in the future, having these terms already laid out can result in less bickering and less frustration over who gets what.

When a couple separates, emotions run high. Having a prenuptial agreement sets up the situation where both sides know what is expected of them.


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So, do you still feel the same way about prenuptial agreements? Would you sign one, or do you wish you had? When people are prepared for potential disaster, they feel less stressed about it. A prenuptial agreement is a preparation tactic that acknowledges sometimes divorces happen. This agreement plans for the worst to keep either party from being devastated by it.

Prenuptial agreements usually come with a stigma, but those stigmas aren’t the reality. More romantic-minded people may feel their partner isn’t sure or isn’t all-in. And that’s completely not true! Wishing to sign a prenup doesn’t mean one partner doesn’t think or want the marriage to work out. It only means that they want to keep the potential for a difficult situation as pain-free as possible.