Patricia Annino Receives “Best in Wealth Management” Award

The Euromoney Legal Media Group chose Patricia Annino, Chair of Prince Lobel’s Estate Planning and Probate Practice Group, to receive the prestigious “Best in Wealth Management” award at the second annual Americas Women in Business Law Award ceremony held May 24, 2012, in New York City.

Selected from a short-list of eight well-known, highly-qualified nominees, Patricia’s award was based on extensive peer review research conducted by Euromoney’s research team, her professional accomplishments during the past 12 months, and her advocacy and influence in the field of wealth management.

Following the success of similar award ceremonies in Europe and Asia, the Americas Women in Business Law Awards was launched by Euromoney Legal Media Group to give law firms and professional services firms the recognition they deserve for their efforts in helping women advance in the legal profession.

Patricia Annino is a nationally recognized expert on estate planning and taxation, with more than 25 years of experience serving the estate planning needs of families, individuals, and owners of closely held and family businesses. She speaks regularly on many issues of concern to family owned businesses, including succession planning, risk management, managing a business with multiple stakeholders, the risk of divorce, and more. Annino is a graduate of Smith College and Suffolk University School of Law.

Patricia is the author of two widely utilized professional texts: Estate Planning in Massachusetts, and Taxwise Planning for Aging, Ill, or Incapacitated Clients. Patricia’s recent books for consumers include, Cracking the $$ Code: What Successful Men Know and You Don’t (Yet), Women in Family Business: What Keeps You up at Night, and Women & Money, A Practical Guide to Estate Planning.

About Prince Lobel

Prince Lobel Tye LLP is a full-service law firm providing a wide range of services for Fortune 1000 companies, closely held businesses, and individuals. Prince Lobel’s attorneys are guided by the highest standards of legal excellence, professionalism, and service – whether they are addressing complex business issues or providing advice on personal legal matters. Practice areas and industries served encompass corporate law, data privacy and security, domestic relations, employment law, estate planning and probate, insurance and reinsurance, intellectual property and Internet law, litigation, media law, nanotechnology, real estate, telecommunications law, construction law, environmental law, renewable energy, health care, and education. For more information, visit Prince Lobel at PrinceLobel.com.

Patricia Annino is a sought after speaker and nationally recognized authority on women and estate planning.  She educates and empowers women to value themselves and their contributions in order to ACCOMPLISH GREAT THINGS in the world – and in so doing PROTECT THEMSELVES, those they love, and the organizations they care about.  Annino recently released an updated version of her successful book, Women and Money: A Practical Guide to Estate Planning to include recent changes in the laws that govern how we protect our assets during and beyond our lifetime.  To download Annino’s FREE eBook, Estate Planning 101 visit, http://www.patriciaannino.com.

How Can We Ask Our Daughter to Sign a Prenuptual Agreement?

Question:  My daughter is getting married soon. We have significantly more money than her fiancée’s family. Since her fiancé will be a part of our family we are uncomfortable bringing this up as we are concerned that it will send a message that we don’t like him. How can we start this discussion with our daughter?

Answer:

Love and money are very tricky topics. You are wise to ask your daughter to consider signing a prenuptial agreement prior to her marriage. A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into before marriage. It sets forth the rights that each person has to their own assets and to the assets that are earned or acquired during the marriage if divorce strikes. Today it is very common for a child of wealthy parents to ask her fiancé to waive off all rights to any assets that the child will receive from her parents by gift or inheritance. The waiver typically includes any appreciation in the value of those assets. The agreement may not address what happens to any asset that the couple earns together during the course of their marriage-that can be negotiated if divorce occurs.

When you have the discussion with your daughter it is important to stress to her that the agreement is intended to protect her-the goal of the agreement is to put her in control of the disposition of any family asset she receives. Assuming the marriage goes well she can always choose to override the agreement and put her assets in joint name or execute an estate plan that leaves him her entire net worth.

The goal of the prenuptial agreement is to shield those assets and keep them for her benefit if the marriage does not work. A valid prenuptial agreement takes those assets of the table in any divorce discussion. No matter how difficult it may be, it is important that she discuss and execute the prenuptial agreement well in advance of the wedding-a typical rule is before the invitations are mailed out.

Delaying the discussion can lead to an argument that the agreement is not valid and was signed under duress.

Patricia Annino is a nationally recognized authority on women and estate planning.  She educates and empowers women to value themselves and their contributions in order to ACCOMPLISH GREAT THINGS in the world – and in so doing PROTECT THEMSELVES, those they love, and the organizations they care about.  For more visit:  www.patriciaannino.com


How to Negotiate a Prenuptual Agreement

Protect Your Assets:  Q&A with Patricia M. Annino, Esquire

Question:  I am 43 years old and am marrying a 58 year old man who is significantly wealthier than I am. He is divorced and has three grown children from his prior marriages. He has made it clear to me that he expects me to sign a prenuptial agreement. He has been very generous with me and I am concerned that if I negotiate the terms he suggests it will appear that I am marrying him for his money. What should I focus on?

Answer:

A prenuptial agreement is a very serious contract. It addresses what rights you have to his assets if you divorce or he dies. The courts are increasingly upholding prenuptial agreements if they are fair and reasonable. Some cases have gone so far as to say that a prenuptial agreement will be upheld unless it is unconscionable not to do so. Generally to be valid a prenuptial agreement should meet three criteria:

1)      The agreement should be fair and reasonable when the marriage is entered into and fair and reasonable when the marriage terminates

2)      Both parties should fully discuss their assets and liabilities

3)      Both parties should be represented by separate attorneys who explain to them what their rights are.

It is interesting that fair and reasonable does not mean that you are entitled to a higher standard of living because you married a man that is wealthy. For example, in a recent landmark case a man with a family business worth over $100,000,000 married a woman of modest means. They negotiated a prenuptial agreement that provided that if the parties divorced the wife would receive the home they last lived in, $35,000 in annual alimony adjusted for inflation and a new car. After seven years of marriage and one child they divorced. The wife tried to convince the court that the prenuptial agreement was invalid because it was not fair and reasonable. The judge ruled for the husband, ruling that both parties to the contract were adults represented by lawyers who understood the terms of the agreement.

So be careful-walking that tightrope between agreeing to something that you feel is fair and not appearing to be after his net worth is very tricky.

You may negotiate the agreement so that at certain intervals of marriage-5 years, 10 years, 15 years, etc the amount increases. Of course, there are risks with those intervals because right before an increase the marriage can be re-evaluated. It is also possible to negotiate that the prenuptial agreement sunsets-or stays in effect only for a certain number of years. The agreement can be amended during the marriage-and both parties must want to do that.

The bottom line is understanding that unless there is fraud; what you do agree to will probably be upheld by a Judge.

Patricia M. Annino, Esquire, is the author of the highly acclaimed book, Cracking the $$ Code: What Successful Men Know And You Don’t (Yet). Patricia is in demand nationally as a speaker for womens’ organizations on assorted topics.  Patricia works with organizations and women looking to educate and empower them to plan and work smarter with their finances and estates.  For more information visit:  www.patriciaannino.com

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