Legal News | 22.04.21
It’s my house, not yours!
According to the Office of National Statistics, the number of cohabiting couples (with or without children) continues to grow faster than married couples and lone parent families – an increase of 25.8% from 2008 to 2018. However, many cohabitees are not aware of the limited legal protection available to them if their relationship were to breakdown. It is important to realise that, when dealing with assets on the breakdown of a relationship, a cohabitee is not treated in the same way as a spouse.
One way to be clear about the extent of each cohabitee’s interest in the family home is to prepare a Declaration of Trust. This document confirms the proportions in which two or more individuals own a property and can reflect how the parties would like the net sale proceeds to be split, should the relationship breakdown.
A Declaration of Trust can be used to record both initial and future financial contributions made by all parties. If one party is contributing more than the other, they may wish to protect their extra contribution by stating that this amount must be repaid before the remaining equity is divided.
Nobody likes to plan for failure. However, a Declaration of Trust is a good way of ensuring that all cohabitees’ interests are protected and may help avoid the costs associated with a dispute if a relationship breaks down.
If you would like to discuss Declarations of Trust, please get in touch with your usual contact at Wansbroughs or email the Private Client team at firstname.lastname@example.org.