Choosing to live together is a big step in your relationship. Our solicitors are here to assist with Living Together Agreements, Declaration of Trust and wills as you make this big step.
You are about to move in together, you have probably already decided on who gets which side of the bed and who has to load the dishwasher and walk the dog. But what about the harder things such as what happens if one person earns more? Will your assets be combined? And what about a will?
The practicalities of living together should not ruin the excitement of a home together, however, both parties must consider their legal position in the event of a relationship breakdown. A 30 minutes consultation with our expert team in either Salisbury, Southampton, Winchester, Poole, Bournemouth and London (by appointment only) can be a massive help in putting your affairs in order.
There are three key legal documents for couples preparing to live together:
Living Together Agreement
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. If you are living together and not getting married, we can draft a Living Together Agreement to safeguard your interests. This document 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 to be drawn up.
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.
We 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 such a document 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.
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.