Marriage Contracts | Hope for the best but plan for the worst!
Why consulting with an expert and personally executing your marriage contract before a notary public makes the most sense.
The saying goes “there is more than one way to skin a cat” and the same is true for getting your antenuptial contract in place before the wedding. There are a number of service providers on the internet who offer a quick, no-fuss process whereby you complete a standard questionnaire, select your preferred option for your matrimonial property regime (with/without accrual), pay the fee and then receive a draft contract and special power of attorney to sign and send back, wherafter your marriage contract is executed before a notary in your absence and then registered in the deeds registry. Quick and (usually) cheap, this is a popular option amongst young couples, because it makes it so easy to tick this item off your to do list before the wedding.
If getting your marriage contract for the cheapest possible price is your primary goal, then this option is a better fit for you than the marriage contract services we offer at Nienaber Attorneys.
We don’t do quick and cheap.
We do bespoke marriage contracts which are drafted by an experienced contract specialist after an in person consultation with the couple in which we do detailed needs analysis. This process helps us identify their unique needs and to provide our clients with tailor made contracts which will stand the test of time. No two couples are exactly alike, and therefore no two marriage contracts should be exactly alike either.
There is a lot more to your marriage contract than simply deciding whether you want to be married with or without accrual, and there are many additional aspects which should be considered and discussed before you put pen to paper. Some of these aspects include excluding investment assets which are intended to benefit other family members, beneficial interests in existing and future family businesses and trusts, estate planning considerations, the impact of future immigration on the accrual calculation, as well as protection mechanisms around accrual claims during insolvency or death. Inexperienced legal practitioners do not fully appreciate these aspects and the potentially adverse consequences if they aren’t handled correctly. Through the last ten years of practice our Notary has honed her craft, studied these issues and now provides clients with proper, professional advice on these aspects, and more.
Your marriage contract is probably the only contract which you will ever sign which can only be amended by a court order. We have also seen many “typical” marriage contracts being declared void in subsequent divorce proceedings, leaving the parties married in community of property with a joint estate. Eek!
At Nienaber Attorneys, we currently charge between R4,000 and R6,000 (excluding V.A.T.) for our marriage contracts, civil union contracts and life partnership agreements, depending on the specifics. This fee includes every aspect of the process from start to finish, including the initial consultation and needs analysis, follow up questions and correspondence, drafting of the contract and a further meeting with your contract specialist to discuss the content of the contract with you, notarisation, registration in the deeds office and all the other little steps in between.
If you are serious about getting your marriage or civil union started on the right legal footing with a professionally drafted contract which has been tailored to your needs, give us a call to make an appointment to start the process.
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