Millennials are shifting the market once again. Before it was their preference for experiences over possessions and now they are putting their money where their mouth is and demanding prenuptial agreements that protect intellectual property, including undeveloped ideas. Prenups traditionally assigned "old money" assets like cash, income, investments, and real estate. But, Millennials are recognizing another asset, the ideas in their mind.
According to a study conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, just over half of all attorney respondents saw an increase in Millennials seeking prenuptial agreements. One respondent attributed this trend to the fact that Millennials are getting older and richer. Furthermore, as the "idea" economy continues to develop, these Millennials recognize that their intangible properties might be their most valuable assets.
But attorneys are confronting practical issues in drafting language to assign these "assets." Prenups must identify the asset and value it. Undeveloped business and technology ideas are subject to change and nearly impossible to value with any reasonable accuracy. Furthermore, attorneys are required to include operative language that incorporates all of these issues into an enforceable document. This area of law is still developing.
If you and your future spouse believe you need a prenuptial agreement, then you may want to speak to a lawyer. Prenuptial agreements, aside from dealing with complicated issues like valuing intellectual property, must conform to legal requirements to be enforceable. A lawyer can ensure that your prenup complies with these requirements. While no one gets married anticipating divorce, it is better to be prepared and never need it, than need the prenup and not have it.