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How Could Cohabiting Couples Legally Protect Their Assets

Cohabitation is one of the most common living arrangements in the UK, with more than six million cohabiting couples in the UK. Although there are some rules in Scotland in place to protect those cohabiting, there are numerous steps that couples can take to further protect themselves.

Create A Will

Cohabitants do not automatically have the rights to their partners assets. Therefore, if you wish to bequeath items or part of your estate upon death, it is imperative that this is documented in your will. Cohabitation can also lead to a confusing state of affairs, therefore it is important that your will is a legally binding document that has been reviewed by a skilled solicitor. A will is vital to ensure that your estate is left to those you wish.

Look Into A Cohabitation Agreement

If you are cohabiting with your partners, a cohabitation agreement should be put into place. Such an agreement show what asset each partner is bringing to the relationship and how they should be divided in the event of the relationship ending. By having a clear understanding of who owns what, and who possess items upon the termination of a relationship.

Complications can arise such as one partner owning the property, but both paying the mortgage, therefore it is crucial that issues such as this are well thought out and planned for if the relationship doesn’t last. Due to the complex nature of cohabitation agreements they can be relatively expensive, however, having one in place can save you money in the long run.

Use Proper Legal Channels

Whether it be creating a will or buying a property, it is important to plan through the correct legal channels. When buying a property, it is important to discuss how the property will be bought as joint tenants or tenants in common. When buying a property with a partner, it is important to seek legal advice in order to establish what occurs upon the death of a partner, or who owns the property.

Damien Fahy from finance site moneytothemasses.com said: “Cohabiting couples have no legal rights to remain in a property – or to take a share of any assets not owned by them – should they split up.

“This is why long-term partners should arrange either a cohabitation agreement or declaration of trust, laying out who owns what and how these will be distributed on separation.”

There are fewer tax advantages to couples that do not marry. Therefore, it is important to plan ahead and analyse what taxes could come into effect when putting together your arrangement.

Contact Us

If you require legal advice or a representative regarding a cohabitation agreement, the creation of a will, tax planning or any other matter regarding family law, our team of skilled solicitors can help. Contact us today using our online contact form or call our customer service team on 01224 370 028.

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