You may look forward to sharing a house with your significant other. However, if you want to build a long-term relationship with an unmarried partner, you should consider whether your partner will end up with your home if you should die or if a court will name someone else to take over your property.
You probably expect that your loved one is already a co-owner if the two of you have taken out a mortgage on your home together. CNBC explains why unmarried couples should pay close attention to the actual document that establishes home ownership.
The owner should be on the deed
Jointly owning a mortgage does not mean that both parties actually own the home. The legal owner is whoever is on the deed. If you are the sole owner and you die, the property does not automatically pass to your partner. Instead, a probate court will decide who gets ownership of the home, provided that you did not make out a will naming a beneficiary for your estate.
Options to give your partner ownership
There are different ways to make sure your significant other has ownership rights to your home. You may modify your deed so your partner’s name is on it along with a right of survivorship provision that grants your partner full ownership of the home after your death.
It is possible to leave your property to your loved one in your will, but your will is still subject to probate. The probate process may take time, and another party could challenge your will in court. Still, putting your partner on your home deed could open your partner up to taxes and creditor liability. Consider your options carefully so your significant other can benefit well from your living arrangement.