Setting up home or already living together? Buying property with friends or for your children? Make sure everyone’s rights and interests are properly protected.
When we talk about living together, people often assume this just means couples who have chosen not to marry. However, there are many situations considered to be ‘living together’ in the eyes of the law:
- A traditional but unmarried couple, with or without children
- A same gender couple who have not married or entered a Civil Partnership
- Friends buying a house together to share the costs of living or as an investment
- Parents and other relatives buying property for or with children
Whichever category your situation falls into, it is sensible to protect your interests and your finances – couples do split up, friends go their separate ways, and unfortunately, people die.
There are steps you can take to make sure that the end of a partnership does not mean you have to lose out financially or that it is clearly defined as to who gets what when they property is sold, and when.
We can help you make sure that all the necessary agreements and documents are in place either before you move in together, or after the arrangement has begun.
These can include helping you choose the following:
- Living Together agreements to cover the agreed split of household running costs, mortgages and future property rights. This is particularly important in protecting the housing and maintenance needs of any children from the relationship in the event of a separation.
- Declarations of Trust – if you choose to own the property as Tenants in Common, this allows you to specify the percentage ownership of the property, suitable if one party is putting in more equity than another. The Declaration can specify what sums were put in at the start and by who, and how the proceeds are to be divided when the house is sold and what events will trigger a sale; e.g. if a relationship/friendship breaks down.
- Whether to own the property as Joint Tenants (suitable if you and your partner are happy to own the property in equal shares, with automatic transfer to the surviving partner in the event of a death).
At the same time, we can call upon the expertise of our highly regarded wills and estate planning team who will help you draw up your Will to make sure your property is disposed of according to your wishes, allowing you to protect the financial security of your loved ones after you’ve gone.
We can help you in putting in place the right documentation to protect you and your partner, friend or family member when you live together. While we are happy to see you and your partner at the stage where documents are drawn up, we recommend one partner takes independent legal advice before any paperwork is signed.
We can also offer advice and assistance in the event your relationship has broken down.
To find our more, contact the family team on 0844 567 2222 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org