If you are planning to purchase a home with your partner, then you may want to carefully consider the commitment that you will be making and the complications that may occur if you end the relationship. When couples are not married, they are not legally obligated to share any property and none of their possessions will become jointly owned. Yet a couple may legally own a home together if they choose to purchase the house in a joint relationship.
When you are buying a house with a partner, the first thing you must do is decide if you would like to be joint tenants with that person or tenants-in-common. If you are joint tenants, then you will be required to share a form of ownership equally with your partner. Joint tenants will carry equal interest in property. If one owner passes away, the remaining owner automatically inherits the rest of the property by the right of survivorship. This legal stipulation will override anything written in a will or other estate planning document.
As domestic partners you can also opt to be tenants-in-common. This means that you will have a distinct share in the property and your partner will have a share in the property. You will decide what percentage of the property you will own, and it does not need to be split 50/50. If you pay for 75% of the housing costs, and your partner only covers 25%, then you will have primary ownership of the home. If your co-owner dies, you do not have the rights to their share of the property in this stipulation.
The share that they had in the property will be a part of their estate and can be determined by the person's will or state intestacy laws. If you want more information about purchasing property, then talk to a Los Angeles family attorney today. With a professional lawyer on your side you may be able to sort through your situation and determine the best ownership plan for you!