Declaration of Trust and Cohabitation Agreements

The practicalities of living together should not ruin the excitement of setting up a home together. However, both parties must consider their legal position in the event of a relationship breakdown.

Declaration of Trust

A Declaration of Trust safeguards the interests of the parties in terms of their financial contributions to the property. Put simply, the Declaration prevents unpleasant surprises in the event of a separation.

Our cohabitation solicitors can draft a Declaration of Trust that will protect your greater share in the property in the event of a dispute in the future. The absence of a Declaration of Trust when purchasing a property can mean that property law operates in a way that you did not envisage. Our residential property team can help you get this right at the outset to prevent stress and potentially costly litigation in the future.

Cohabitation Agreement

If you are living together and not getting married, we can draft a Cohabitation Agreement to safeguard your interests It is a common misconception that living together means you will have the same rights as married couples particularly after a certain number of years when it comes to splitting property and other assets. The term “common law husband and wife” is a myth.. A Cohabitation Agreement will set out who gets what if the relationship breaks down.

If you are planning to buy a house rather than rent, you will also need a Declaration of Trust in addition to the Cohabitation Agreement.

To enquire about the costs of setting up a cohabitation agreement please give us a call on 0800 2800 421 or fill in a contact form.


Married or not, you need a Will to ensure that your wishes are followed in the event of your death. If you die without leaving a valid Will in place, the Intestacy Rules apply, which means that the people you wish to benefit from your assets do not do so because they are not entitled to them under the law. The Intestacy Rules may also result in complex trusts being set up for your family which can be costly to administer and contrary to your wishes. Our Wills and Trusts solicitors can help you draft a Will that covers all the necessary assets you wish to impart and to whom.


Our expert team in either Salisbury, Southampton, Winchester, Poole, Bournemouth and London (London by appointment only) can help in putting your affairs in order Please contact our family law team to arrange a free 30-minute consultation using the quick contact form on this page, or call 0800 2800 421.

Meet the team

Andrew Mercer


Emma Wilders-Pratt


Grant Cameron


Kimberley Davies


Laura Bell

Senior Associate

Amy Trench


Dawn Gore

Associate (Senior Paralegal)

Helen Clarkson


Jacqueline Reeves


Sara Willis