NextGens Embrace the Prenup

Maryann G. Bell
January 17, 2024

The word “prenup” used to make engaged couples uncomfortable, but times have changed. According to this article in Family Business Magazine by Wingspan’s Maryann G. Bell, surveys show younger generations are more favorable toward prenuptial agreements that divvy up assets should there be a divorce. But beyond general attitudes, says Maryann, the prenup is an essential governance precaution for family-owned businesses.

“A battle in divorce court could disrupt the family company,” Maryann writes. “With uncertainty in ownership, operations might be interrupted, the company’s reputation muddied, employee morale dampened and the value of the business diminished.” She goes on to argue in favor of not waiting until an owner or future successor is engaged to open this conversation but, rather, building prenups as a requirement into family constitutions and formal policy. That way, the prenup policy doesn’t appear to be a personal slight that could break up a happy couple!

Read more about the importance of the prenup in Family Business Magazine.

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About Maryann G. Bell

Maryann has led transformation through board work in Austin after almost two decades in finance. Maryann holds a BA from Georgetown University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.