Your mov­ing-in check­list

While some peo­ple might not con­sider mov­ing in to­gether to be a big deal, there are a num­ber of is­sues that cou­ples need to dis­cuss be­fore tak­ing this step.

Finweek English Edition - - ON THE MONEY - Ed­i­to­rial@fin­ has been a per­sonal fi­nance jour­nal­ist for 12 years. You can find more of her ar­ti­cles on www.mon­eyis­

you’ve­been dat­ing for a while now and the two of you are not quite ready for mar­riage yet, but you are sure you want to live to­gether. This might make sense for a num­ber of rea­sons, in­clud­ing the fi­nan­cial ben­e­fits of run­ning one house­hold rather than two, but be­fore you move in and com­bine your as­sets, you should con­sider a co-habi­ta­tion agree­ment.

While it may not make for the most ro­man­tic con­ver­sa­tion, a co-habi­ta­tion agree­ment pro­tects both you and your part­ner fi­nan­cially in the event that your liv­ing ar­range­ment isn’t as bliss­ful as you thought it would be. A le­gal agree­ment will cover is­sues such as your le­gal obli­ga­tions and prop­erty own­er­ship. For ex­am­ple, if you buy a flat and fur­nish it to­gether, how will you split it if the re­la­tion­ship does not work out?

Is­sues to ad­dress in your co-habi­ta­tion agree­ment

How your as­sets will be dis­trib­uted if you break up or one of you dies.

Will one of you be re­quired to pro­vide fi­nan­cial sup­port dur­ing the re­la­tion­ship or upon its dis­so­lu­tion?

How will debts be han­dled – will each party be re­spon­si­ble for their own debt or will you share li­a­bil­ity?

Ac­qui­si­tion of fixed prop­erty – will you share own­er­ship 50/50?

If you own the prop­erty you live in, how will it be dis­posed of if you break up or one of you dies?

Defin­ing sup­port, cus­tody or visi­ta­tion rights for mi­nor chil­dren.

De­ter­min­ing the right to serve as guardian in the event of in­ca­pac­i­ta­tion.

Es­tab­lish­ing the right to make med­i­cal de­ci­sions.

Fi­nan­cial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties for main­tain­ing the “com­mu­nity” es­tate.

Man­age­ment and con­trol of busi­ness ven­tures or in­vest­ments (whether jointly ac­quired or brought into the re­la­tion­ship).

Fi­nan­cial sup­port in the event of the dis­abil­ity or un­em­ploy­ment of a party.

Short-term in­surance

One of the most ob­vi­ous things to con­sider would be your short­term in­surance needs. As long as you are liv­ing in the same home, you can con­sol­i­date your short-term in­surance, says Fourie Grob­ler, head of prod­uct so­lu­tions at Mu­tual & Fed­eral. How­ever, he notes that it is im­por­tant that the pol­icy is lodged in one part­ner’s name with the other part­ner added as a co-pol­i­cy­holder. How­ever, both risk pro­files are taken into ac­count when de­ter­min­ing the pre­mium payable on the pol­icy. So, you can’t list the pol­icy on the name of the part­ner with a great risk pro­file – you have to dis­close all in­for­ma­tion for both part­ners. De­ter­mine the value of your in­sur­able goods. In­sur­ers of­ten say that a good test is to list all the things that would fall out of the house if you turned it up­side down. Re­mem­ber to insure your goods for re­place­ment value so that you are able to re­place like­for-like in the event of a loss. At­tie Blaauw, head of per­sonal lines un­der­writ­ing at San­tam, says when it comes to ve­hi­cle cover, the in­surance pre­mium would be as­sessed based on the risk pro­file of the reg­u­lar driver of the car.

If you buy a flat and fur­nish it to­gether, how will you split it if the re­la­tion­ship does not work out?

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