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If you are a cohabiting couple and you intend on buying a property in joint names, you will need to decide whether you wish to hold the beneficial title as Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common. If the property is owned as Joint Tenants, the presumption is that you both own the property in equal shares. If the property is owned as Tenants in Common, your respective shares in the property will depend on what you agree, and document, in the Purchase Deed. Having a Trust Deed is an effective way of clarifying ownership of a property and is generally considered to be conclusive evidence as to ownership in any court proceedings. The Trust Deed can also deal with such matters like, how you will divide the cost of paying the mortgage, property repairs, property maintenance etc.
You may also wish to consider having a Living Together Agreement, otherwise known as a Cohabitation Agreement. This agreement can set out arrangements which will apply while you are living together as well as agreements that will apply in the event of the relationship ending.
It is also important that couples living together make provision for life assurance to cover each of them against the financial consequences of the death of the other.
Most people die intestate. This is not advisable, especially for a cohabiting couple. When a couple decides to live together, they should consider having Wills drafted to provide each other with the appropriate level of financial protection, especially where there are children involved. A Will can appoint a guardian for any children of the family too.