Kate Middletons prenp By Anne Kayu, Boodle Hatfield
As Kate Middleton prepares to wed Prince William, Anne Kay of Boodle Hatfield offers this advice on whether, if asked, she should agree to a prenuptial agreement.
The number one piece of advice to Kate Middleton would obviously have to be ‘do not sign a pre-nup.’ There is nothing to be gained by Kate in signing. The English courts have a very wide discretion to wives in this country and she is far likely to do better by dodging the solicitor’s calls, claiming that she considers such agreements “unromantic” and basically doing whatever she can to avoid the process.
If, however, William, or perhaps his grandmother, the Queen, is insistent that she signs one, I would advise Kate as follows:
Secure a home
Ensure that the agreement provides you with a home for you and your children that is equivalent to the sort of home you shared in your marriage.
And a second home
Include provision for a second home overseas for holiday periods and to escape the eyes of the world’s media.
Avoid the inheritance non sharing clause
At all costs, avoid a clause which provides that all inheritances (past and future) are not to be shared. This is a common clause in pre-nups, and as William’s assets are likely to far outweigh Kate’s it would be better for her to share them.
Make Williams cover the kids education costs
Make sure that all of your children’s living costs and their school and university fees will be paid in full by William. It may be that the terms of an existing family trust will already have dealt with their education costs (as is common in such families), but make it William’s problem to find those funds.
Make sure you never have to work again
Ensure you receive an additional capital lump sum so that do not need to work again. After all, as the ex-wife of a King, you should not be expected to slum it in the workplace. It may be impossible to ascertain how exactly what that sum should be, but provision should be made for it.
Secure half the wedding gifts
And one final thought; if a prenup is insisted upon Kate might want to make sure she gets half of the wedding presents, which are likely to be very substantial indeed given that they will be gifts from among the richest people in the World.
Of course, a prenup would bring Kate some security should the relationship collapse, in that a settlement would have been agreed in advance. It is quite possible that Kate, having watched Sarah Ferguson’s life and finances unravel so very publically may find some comfort in a prenup.
Anne Kay is an Associate in the Family team at law firm Boodle Hatfield.