Is there a way to protect my investment if I buy a home with my unmarried partner?

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Is there a way to protect my investment if I buy a home with my unmarried partner?

My significant other and I would like to buy a home, we are unmarried. If we were to buy said

home and something unfortunate would happen like a break up or death what could I do to protect my assets?

Asked on May 8, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

1) If both of you are on the deed or title, you are both owners, and will both therefore have an equal right to the equity in the home, which would be split (after paying off the mortgage, paying costs of sale, etc.) between the two of you if and when the home is sold.
2) You can also enter into an enforceable written agreement between the two of you setting out some split other than 50-50 (e.g. if one of you pays more than the other, or makes the monthly payments,and therefore should get a larger share), or which gives one of you the right to buy the other out, or specifies any other outcome the two of you agree to. You should enter into this agreement before purchasing the house; any real estate attorney should be able to help you with the agreement.
3) You can and should make sure you buy the home as "joint tenants with right of survivorship" (JTROS), which will make sure that if one of you passes away, the home goes automatically to the other.
4) You can each take out a life insurance policy naming the other as beneficiary, to make sure that in the event of death, your significant other will have the funds to pay the taxes, mortgage, etc. on the home.


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