- YOU ARE IN
Now it's time to start thinking for two. Moving in together may mean finding a property to rent or buy, or perhaps you may each have a property of your own which inevitably raises the question of whether to sell one (or even both) or maybe think about letting one out. This is a good time to make a Will and give each other Power of Attorney to safeguard your shared legal rights as an unmarried couple living together. It may also be time to consider how best to use your individual tax allowances to make your money work harder for you both. What if children come along and what, exactly, are your rights in such areas as joint property ownership if your relationship breaks up?
Taking our 360 Lifestage Review is the best way to discover what you should be thinking about at your stage of life. Alternatively, click on any button below to find out exactly why particular services could be important to you if you are involved in a serious relationship.
- Related Documents
- Q1 Why both of you should consider making Wills
- If you die without leaving a Will, your partner will not automatically be entitled to anything - including any share of a jointly owned property. Without a Will in place naming your partner, your estate would go to your next of kin, normally your parents and/or siblings
- Making a Will allows you to make specific provisions for others who may be close to you such as nieces and nephews or godchildren, for example
- A Will also allows you to pass on personal items of sentimental rather than monetary value which may otherwise be sold after your death as part of your estate
- Planning on having children? You will need to revise your Wills with every new arrival or any previous versions could be declared invalid
- Q2 Prepare for the unexpected with a Power of Attorney
- You may want and expect your relationship partner to look after your financial affairs and personal wellbeing if you were no longer able to do so yourself, but without a Power of Attorney agreement in place naming your partner, he or she would have no right to act on your behalf whatsoever
- A Power of Attorney is a simple legal arrangement that allows each of you to nominate the other to act on your behalf in such circumstances - if one of you were involved in an accident or suddenly struck down by a serious illness, for example, or if it becomes necessary to spend lengthy periods away on business
- Without a valid Power of Attorney agreement in place, gaining authority to act on behalf of your partner after the event could involve a long and costly court application which might take months to settle
- Q3 Thinking about buying a property together?
- For unmarried couples in a serious relationship, the decision to buy a property can symbolise their commitment to build a life together. If you are considering such a move, it is vitally important that you take legal advice before taking such an important step as you will not have the automatic property rights enjoyed by married couples and civil partnerships, potentially causing problems further down the line
- By compiling a Minute of Agreement with the help of a solicitor, you can state in writing if one of you has paid the larger part of the deposit to avoid unnecessary argument when the time comes to sell or the relationship breaks down
- Q4 Do you each have properties to sell?
- For many couples in a relationship, buying a property together can make a lot of sense as an opportunity to amalgamate separate assets by putting the proceeds from the sale of two existing properties together, whether to move up the ladder to something bigger or relocate to a more desirable area
- Selling could also be a good idea if you have a large family house left over from a divorce or the death of a spouse or partner and you now want to downsize to something smaller, perhaps to reflect the needs of a new relationship
- What to do with your property can be a problem if you or your partner need to relocate to another area to take up a new job. Should you sell or consider letting to generate an additional income? Either way, your first move should be to discuss your options with an established and experienced estate agency such as Pagan Osborne
- Q5 Would renting a place together suit you better than buying?
- Without the long-term obligations attached to buying a property, renting is an ideal way to 'road test' your relationship and see how living together works out
- The flexibility of renting allows you to try out different areas and move from location to location with comparative ease, whether to suit lifestyle preferences or accommodate any changes affecting your work
- Renting can also offer an affordable option if you're saving hard with your sights set on buying
- Q6 How some simple tax planning could put more money into your relationship
- We can offer advice on how to reorganise your individual assets for the benefit of both of you - for example, if your partner earns a lower income then you may be able to distribute assets to them and possibly pay less tax
- Are you both making the most of your separate tax-free savings allowances or individual annual exemptions for Capital Gains Tax?
- Although you don't receive the same automatic tax benefits as a married couple, there are many ways where taking a collective approach to your tax affairs could help you significantly reduce your overall tax liability
- Q7 Building a life together means planning ahead for a secure financial future
- You don't have to be married to look forward to a long and fulfilling life together. That's why it's never too early in a serious relationship to start exploring the many different financial arrangements that could help ensure the security you are both hoping for in years to come
- If your relationship produces children, what is the best way to plan for their education?