Family Feud


Hi Scott,

I am 26 and recently got married (yay!), but my husband and I are not sure how to combine our finances. He owns a house with his brother, and I have a decent inheritance which I would not like to lose if we ended up divorcing (yes, I know it’s a bit early for that!). I thought of leaving the inheritance in the offset account, but if my husband dies I do not want to lose it to my brother-in-law either! How can we make it all work? Do we need a (post) prenup?


Scott's Answer

Hi Ashley,

It sounds a little like you want a Meatloaf marriage: “I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that (share my inheritance).”

The way I see it, there are three things you can do:

First, you can go to a lawyer and draw up a ‘binding financial agreement’, which will set out who gets what if you want out of the marriage like a bat out of hell (another Meatloaf reference … ask your parents). The downside to binding financial agreements is that they can be expensive, and they’re often contested.

Second, a more practical approach could be for both of you to write single wills which state that your parents (or whoever) get your stuff in the event of your death. These wills can be updated as you go through life.

Third, if you want to avoid a lot of financial heartache in the future (and also avoid the costs associated with the first two options), I’d seriously consider talking about your feelings to someone qualified ‒ and that’s not me!

Fact is, you’re still in the honeymoon phase of your marriage (which, in my personal experience, lasts until the first kid pops out) yet you’re already choosing money over marriage.

That doesn’t make you a bad person, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. It just means you have doubts.

And those doubts won’t go away.