As more couples put their wedding vows on hold, it’s become more common to move in together or even buy a property out of wedlock.
While the plan is to live happily ever after, we all know it’s not always the cas.e
Which is why Milford law attorney Vincent Averaimo encourages his clients to plan for the unexpected.
“Something may happen where you separate… you need to know how your interest will be effected and the deed is the first way to do that,” Averaimo says.
First, decide whether you’ll be signing a deed that makes you tenants in common or joint tenants with rights of survivorship.
If there’s an unexpected death, tenants in common is when your half of the property passes to an estate and is overseen by probate court. The latter, joint tenants with rights of survivorship automatically sends your interest to the other person.
Next, sign a joint venture agreement to outline your intentions.
“Essentially what the joint venture agreement says is both of us are entering into this joint venture where we are going to either buy this house and live there or buy this house and rehab it and sell it and these are our interests in the house which usually mirror the deed.”
You also outline who pays for maintenance if work is needed and whether it’ll be reimbursed.
Averaimo says it’s important everyone work these details out even if you’re married and especially if you’re not.
“There’ve been so many circumstances that have come through my door where people had the best intentions in mind and heart and things have broken down irretrievably and now we have a situation made worse because now you’re fighting over money.”
You have to remember, whatever your relationship status is, this is a big business transaction. These days, you can never be too careful.