Thinking about proposing on Valentine’s day? Buying a house with your partner? Moving in together?
When making exciting decisions it’s easy to forget about legal matters, but discussing things up front gets them out of the way, so you have more time to celebrate!
Buying a house
Many people are unaware of the different ways you can own a house with another person. Most of the time couples select to own a house as joint tenants. This means that they both own equal shares and if the one person dies then their half automatically becomes the other’s.
But, what if one partner has a lot more money to put into the deposit than the other? What if one partner’s parents have contributed to the deposit and want that money to be ring-fenced? What if one person will be contributing more to the mortgage than the other? What if one partner wants to specifically leave their share to someone else if they die?
There are many reasons why people buying a house may want to carve out specific shares of ownership, and it’s very simple to do. You need to select tenants in common rather than joint tenants on your transfer deed (TR1) and also create a declaration of trust, which has to be registered at the land registry. The proportions that you set out in the trust deed are the proportions that will be used to distribute the sale proceeds when the property is sold.
If you’ve already made a will, getting married automatically revokes it, so you will need to have a new one made. If you haven’t, and don’t, then if something were to happen, intestacy rules would apply. These dictate how your estate will be distributed to your family, which may not be how you would like to distribute your estate. Creating a will in contemplation of marriage means that your wishes will be followed in case something happens.
Moving in together
Cohabitating couples could consider making a cohabitation agreement. This sets out the financial arrangements between you and your partner and protects any assets acquired before moving in together, much like a prenup. A cohabitation agreement states that your income and assets are separate and your debt is also separate.
Make all these documents with Rocket Lawyer for free and start your life together legally safe!