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To Have and to Hold - A Word of Caution

Buying as a couple for the very first time is incredibly exciting yet with only a very small percentage of couples in Scotland in civil partnerships and fewer couples getting married than ever before, a number of things should be considered by potential co-habitees when looking to purchase a home together.

 Many “couples” wrongly believe that they have automatic protection whilst in reality, unmarried couples still have very little rights in comparison.

Great care should be taken when purchasing a home as a couple.    You should record whether you are each entitled to 50% of the property value or, if one party is contributing more than the other, then the title should be taken in the appropriate proportions for each partner.

For married couples, assets are usually divided equally on divorce and on the death of a spouse who has not written a will, the surviving spouse will normally inherit the marital home.

Taking title in the correct proportions is so much more important for co-habitees as the right to certainty in the event of a death or separation is otherwise far less than in the case of married couples.

It is also advisable for unmarried couples to draw up wills at the time they purchase their new home so as to give each other the comfort and reassurance that they will inherit in the event of death.

Love may be blind but the most important piece of advice the prospective co-habitees is to seek legal advice before committing to their purchase – and do so with your eyes firmly open.  Simply assuming that certain rights exist could prove to be an extremely costly mistake.

For further information and advice on joint ownership and the importance of recording your wishes by making a Will, contact Mrs Patricia Gray.


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