About The Video.
Joint Finances: A video from the Ombudsman highlighting -
- Become aware: The financial world is complicated. It is up to you to make sure you know and agree with every decision made that affects you individually and as a joint financial partner.
- Recognise the power of love: Loved ones will often do things just because you ask them. It is up to you to make it clear (to your partner) that a sensible approach to protecting each other is just a practical issue. Good financial sense does not mean a lessening of affection.
- Be happy: You have a responsibility to yourself and your loved ones to be happy. Take it seriously.
Talking about money early-on in a serious relationship can seem daunting. A basic fear of spoiling the romance can cause people to forget all about logic reasonableness. Sometimes it's even hard to know how to bring up the subject of money.
Making a will is not only a very good thing to do generally it can be used as an excuse to bring the whole question of finances into the open. Making a will allows you to formally list all of your assets and dictate how you want them dispersed in the event of your death. It is a great doorway into a tricky conversation. Plus, it is only natural to take advice from your partner and discuss how they think you should deal with your money.
As a final persuader, you can use some advice that I was given many years ago. To justify the need for a contract between two friends simply look to a time when one of the friends dies. The death itself would be tragic but it would also mean that strangers (the estate) would now be part of any partnership. At this point it would be best all-round if there was a legal document that could be relied on to express the exact wishes of the deceased friend. It is, in-itself, a protective measure.
From making a will, to getting a 'Cohabitation Agreement' is a small and logical step. A cohabitation agreement sets out exactly what is owned by each person and perhaps more importantly it can be set in terms of a percentage.
For example if one of the partners puts more money into the purchase of a house this can be reflected in the agreement which in turn would mean a proper return in the event of the house being sold. Also if one of the partners brings debt to the relationship it can be recorded and it can outline the financial responsibilities of both partners in terms of who contributes (financially) to what.
A cohabitation agreement is a simple idea but it needs to be drawn up by a lawyer with experience in these matters. It is also vital that each partner has their own lawyer for advice.
To conclude. All of this may seem like a lot of bother and hard work. BUT it is nothing compared with the potential problems should things go wrong and the relationship breaks down. As unromantic as it seems get it sorted from the start.
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My use of this video in no way implies that I have the support of Slater & Gordon. It's just a helpful video.
This video from Slater & Gordon highlights -