Cohabitations are increasingly common as couples choose to live together for longer periods of time before they wed or go their separate ways.
What is a Cohabitation Agreement?
A cohabitation agreement is a legal contract between a couple that has chosen to live together but not marry.
It allows the parties involved to specify how money, property, and debt will be handled between the individuals, both during and after the relationship. You can specify who gets what or you can create a buy-out clause that requires one party to reimburse the other for any items he or she wants to keep.
If you decide to get married, a cohabitation agreement can be used as a template for a prenuptial agreement. Keep in mind that a cohabitation agreement does not automatically merge into a prenuptial. Naturally, it should be reviewed before it is used as the basis for a prenuptial agreement as to insure all issues and concerns are addressed. Our experienced team at Lewis & Matthews P.C. will review the agreement for you to ensure all your rights are protected and that the terms are correct and legally binding.
Cohabitation agreements will also help ensure you are both protected in the event one of you passes away. The cohabitation agreement becomes an estate planning tool. The agreement enables each party to:
· Make funeral arrangements for each other
· Inherit property from the other
· Receive death benefits
A cohabitation agreement will insure that your partner is taken care of in the event of your death or disability and provide peace of mind to both parties.
As life changes, so should your cohabitation agreement. Review the document periodically to ensure it reflects how you and your partner want things to go if the relationship comes to an end. If there has been a major change in your lifestyles, debts or finances, you may need to make changes to the agreement.
If you are planning on living with someone or are currently cohabitating and want to protect your interests and rights contact Lewis & Matthews P.C. and learn how we can help you ensure all your rights are protected and that the terms are correct and legally binding.