What concerns do you have when entering a new relationship? What happens if either of you have children from a prior relationship? What are the next steps to take? What risks do you have when moving in with your new partner?
There are many considerations including your financial strength, insurance coverages, living accommodations, and family structure. Are you working or in retirement? If you have a trust and will, what are your plans for current family members? All of the same questions apply to your new partner. Most importantly, how are each of you intending to care for the other, if at all. Do either of you already own a home and the other is moving in, how do you create equitable financial responsibilities. Like in any relationship, the key is to openly share concerns and how you are prepared to provide for the other. For example, if you move in to the other’s home and want to rent your house, you can consider a clause in the rental agreement for either the tenant or landlord to be able to break the lease with a specified notice period. If housing is a concern, will your partner offer a life estate or include you in his / her will for a distribution of assets in the event of an untimely death. If your new partner is disabled, will you stay and care for him / her? Is there disability or long-term care insurance?
Will your partner add you as a beneficiary or owner of an insurance partner? If you are an account beneficiary, how will you know if changes are made during the relationship? Then, of course, if there are minor or adult children on either side, that adds a level of complexity. There are no hard and fast rules to follow, other than utilizing subject matter experts such as an attorney, accountant, and insurance broker, to understand options to meet your needs. The most important consideration is what you do to protect yourself in the absence of documented protection by your partner. Nothing wrong with that. It just might be where the relationship is at the moment. The tricky part is to understand how one risk impacts another and how you change your plan to manage risk in a holistic way. Doing this the right way can save you a significant amount of money and prevent an equivalent amount of hardship.
If you have questions on how to set yourself up for success, please contact me HERE.