Moving in together
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You never really know someone properly until you live together – and you’ll probably discover some habits you hadn’t noticed before! Before you move in, it’s a good idea to talk how you’re going to manage your finances together.
It’s a good idea to work out how you’ll split the bills before they start coming in. Many couples agree on a joint bank account. If you earn about the same, it’s easy to split things 50/50. If you don’t, the simplest way to spilt things could be to contribute a portion of what you earn.
This is the most important thing you can do. If you own your home together and one of you were to die without a will, the other person might not automatically inherit the property. If you own it as ‘tenants in common’, it could pass to your closest blood relations.
If you live together as an unmarried couple, you have fewer rights than couples who are. But there are steps you can take to protect yourself. You could get a Living Together Agreement, which is a bit like a pre-nup agreement. It will set out who pays for what and how your assets will be split if things don’t work out. You might want to get legal advice when creating one.
When you buy together as an unmarried couple, or you move into a home that one of you owns, it’s important to talk about ownership. Otherwise, if things turn sour, you may find you have no right to a share of the property. Buying as ‘joint tenants’ means the property belongs to you both, while buying as ‘tenants in common’ means that you have an unequal share. You might want to draw up a declaration of trust.