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.
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.
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?