Buying with a partner? What you need to know

14 October 2019

Buying with a partner? What you need to know

By Tim McKibbin, REINSW CEO

It’s an exciting thing to buy a property with your partner, and often signals a new stage in your life together. But before you sign on the dotted line, there’s a few things you should consider, including - Estate planning.

It’s never nice to think about what will happen when you pass away, but with such a big purchase, you need to have a plan in place. You have essentially two options to hold an interest in the property with another person(s). Firstly, as joint tenants, this means together you and your partner own 100% of the property and should one partner die, their interest in the property will go straight to the surviving partner. For obvious reasons this is the way most couples buy their home.

The second option is, tenants in common, this means each owner holds a separate and distinct interest in the property, that may be 50% each, but doesn’t need to be. If you purchase the property as tenants in common, in the event of your death, your share of the house will go into an estate and will be dealt with as part of the administration of your will.

The option that best suits you will be largely determined by the nature of the relationship you have with your partner.