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How much does a prenup cost? It depends on your situation



The cost of a prenup
depends on myriad factors.


  • How much does a prenup cost?
  • Typically, prenups cost around $2,500,
    but can cost more if you spend a while haggling out various
  • The cost of a prenup depends on where you
    live, what you’re protecting, who your attorney is, and how
    long the negotiations take.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be rich to
get a prenup. Regardless of how much they have in
assets, more millennials are signing
on the dotted line before saying “I do” thanks to the several benefits of

But do you need to be rich to be able to afford a

Maybe, maybe not. The cost of a prenup is typically $2,500,
according to US News & World Report.
Estate-planning attorney Ann-Margaret Carrozza told LearnVest couples can
expect to pay $1,200 to $2,400 — but that’s “if your
finances are straightforward.”

The cost of a prenup depends on where you live. In places with a
higher cost of living, like major urban cities, you can expect to
shell out a bit more for a prenup.

For example, the cost to negotiate and draft a prenup in
Manhattan can range from $7,500 to $10,000 per party, Kelly
Frawley and Emily Pollock, partners in the Matrimonial and Family Law
Department at Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP
, told Business

But besides location, there are a number of other factors
that can affect the cost of a prenup.

Max Berger, wealth strategist regional manager at PNC
Wealth Management, told Business Insider he’s seen the cost
of negotiating and drafting prenuptial agreements range from
three-figure fees to high five-figure fees. “It all depends on
what you are protecting, if the negotiations are contentious, the
quality of counsel you select, and the client’s own
socio-economic level,” Berger, who is based in McLean, Virginia,

He added: “Costs vary widely geographically, but also based
on the practice and reputation of the attorney drafting. That
said, it is likely that you and your spouse-to-be should each
prepare to spend a similar amount on a prenuptial as you would
for your foundational estate planning documents (trusts, wills,
powers of attorney, etc…).”

Prenups increase in cost the more you haggle with your

Keep in mind that you’re likely to be on clock with the
attorney — a prenup is rarely negotiated on a flat fee, Berger
said. “There are far too many variables, and the risk of
negotiations dragging out is a reason an attorney will want to
charge you on an hourly basis.”

The more you haggle, the more hours you’ll end up paying

If you haven’t discussed your expectations of what you want
in the prenup beforehand, or you convey a different message to
your counsel than what was previously discussed, this will make
the prenup process take longer than expected, explain Frawley and
Pollock. Negotiations can also be prolonged, they said, if the
opposing counsel doesn’t focus their practice in the matrimonial
and family area because they aren’t as familiar with some
standard provisions and courtesies.

According to Berger, negotiating around sensitive areas
like inheritance for children from a prior marriage, alimony
obligations, and reasons for fault-based claims such as
infidelity can cause an otherwise friendly negotiation to go

There are also less emotional and more technical issues
that can prolong haggling, Berger said, like tax issues — how
you’ll file income taxes as a married couple or how you’ll split
gifts, for example. “These are examples of important issues if
you are affected by them, but there is little passion about
them,” he said. “Unless they are left unaddressed and you or your
heirs are left to fight over the mess you left.”

Complex issues also eat up time

Other costly issues could be complex issues in your own
affairs, or your family’s, according to Berger.

For example: You own a business and want to protect
interest in said business. “Your business partners probably don’t
want your ex-spouse as a business partner,” Berger said. “Then
you and your attorney will be spending some face time thinking
through what could go wrong and how to keep that from

“Also, where there are existing complex arrangements like
trusts, LLCs, and partnerships that protect wealth and save taxes
— that may need to be revealed to your future spouse, and it may
be something they want to talk through with you, with counsel
present, naturally,” he added.

Is the cost worth it?

That’s up to you.

“You have to decide how important it is to protect what you
want to protect, and what that is worth to you,” Berger said.
“Depending on your circumstances, though,
the prenup may be the most important estate planning
document you sign in your life.”

In Berger’s opinion, a prenup is priceless. “If you want to
pay less, you may sacrifice quality — although paying more
doesn’t necessarily guarantee quality,” he said.

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