What is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

9th April 2020
What is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement? image

What is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

What is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

A Pre-Nuptial Agreement is a legal agreement made between two people who are about to get married. It normally states how the parties want to divide their assets if they later divorce or maybe how they want to deal with finances during the marriage.

What are the Advantages of a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

Pre-Nuptial Agreements are appropriate for many circumstances, but typically they are made by people who are marrying for a second time, have acquired wealth prior to the marriage, those with inherited wealth or those who want to reduce the possibility of conflict if they were to divorce in the future.

Pre-Nuptial Agreements are great for having that peace of mind before getting married so that both parties know exactly where they stand in all circumstances.

Is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement worth entering into?

If you are sure of the agreement and are willing to be bound by the terms of the agreement then it may be worth entering into. It is certainly worth considering whether the agreement could be disadvantageous to you should you separate from your spouse in later years. It is important that you make a fair agreement for you and that you both take separate and independent legal advice from a specialist solicitor.

Will the agreement be binding?

In England and Wales the courts do not have to follow the terms of a  Pre-Nuptial Agreement when dividing up the assets of the marriage but in recent years the courts have been more willing to adopt the terms of a pre-nuptial in certain circumstances. The agreement is likely to be binding if the parties enter into it of their own free will, without undue influence or pressure and if they have been informed of its implications. It must also be fair to hold the parties to their agreement. For the agreement to carry weight, it needs to be properly drawn, both parties need full knowledge of each other's financial circumstances, and both parties need to take independent legal advice before entering into the agreement. Factors which may make an agreement unfair include failure to take account of the needs of any children or the length of the marriage.

A Pre-Nuptial Agreement must be fully completed at least 28 days before the wedding. Therefore, the process must be started before this to allow both parties time to obtain legal advice, get disclosure of each party's financial situation and allow both parties to sign the agreement.

Missed the deadline?

If the Pre-Nuptial Agreement is not completed in time, a Post-Nuptial Agreement may be an alternative. The difference between a Pre-Nuptial Agreement and a Post-Nuptial Agreement is that a Post-Nuptial Agreement is made between two parties who are already married.

What do I do next?

Maples Solicitors LLP has a specialist family law team who are more than happy to advise on any area of family law and the best course of action. Maples Solicitors LLP has years of experience with Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial agreements. Maples offer an initial Fixed Fee Appointment so that you can discuss what is best for you.


If you would like further advice and information, please contact Maples Solicitors LLP on 01775 722261 or email anita.toal@maplessolicitors.com.

Wills During the Coronavirus Pandemic image

Wills During the Coronavirus Pandemic

We appreciate that many people will be considering making a Will and Lasting Powers of Attorney now, more than ever, in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. At Maples Solicitors we will work around those who are self-isolating and we will continue to follow Government guidance by keeping our distance from others. This does mean that we can now offer “Through your Window Wills”. We will take instructions for your Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney via the telephone, video calls or e-mail and we can attend at your home and arrange the signing and witnessing of the documents through your window.


Our costs for dealing with Wills are as follows:-

Our Simple Wills service offers a comprehensive service to ensure that your wishes are carried out in the event of your death.  

If you are married or have a partner and want to make mirror Wills our cost are £360 (inclusive of VAT).

This fee is made up of:

  • Legal fee £300
  • VAT on legal fees £60

If you want to make a single Will our costs are £210 (inclusive of VAT). 

This fee is made up of:

  • Legal fee £175
  • VAT on legal fees £35

The Simple Will Service includes: 

  • Appointment of Executors
  • Provision for your funeral wishes
  • Appointment of Guardians for minor children
  • Provision for specific legacies including money and personal items to named beneficiaries
  • Basic Inheritance Tax advice
  • Advice with regard to the distribution of your residuary estate to your intended beneficiaries
  • Draft Will with full explanation in plain English sent to you in the post
  • Answering any queries you have on the draft Will
  • Face to face meeting at our offices to sign the Will with a Solicitor or Legal Executive
  • Registration with Certainty the National Wills Register 
  • Secure lifetime storage 

This service does not include: 

  • Complex inheritance tax advice and planning
  • Assets that are situated abroad
  • Property protection advice
  • Advice with regard to disinheriting family members 

If it becomes apparent additional work will be needed we will inform you of the additional work required and confirm the additional costs.

If you would like to make a “Through your Window Will” or Lasting Powers of Attorney please telephone the office on 01775 722261 or e-mail enquiries@maplessolicitors.com.

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Jamie Dobbs GCILEx

Over the last forty years I have cause to deal with many law firms both in a personal and professional capacity, including some ‘top’ London Companies. In all of those dealings I have never found anyone as proactive and so willing to offer help and advice as Jamie Dobbs. During the last two years Jamie guided my parents through the completion of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Helped myself with the use of the LPA and recently dealing with Probate and Estate Administration following their death.

Mike Pepper MA

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Donna Sandison FCILEx

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