When romantic partners, whether same-sex or opposite-sex, choose to create a long-term relationship without getting married, they may need a legal document to clarify their rights and responsibilities to each other. Having their “ground rules” written down can make it easier and safer to rent or purchase a home together, share the expenses of running a household, share a bank account or credit card, and plan for the significant tax traps that can accompany an unmarried relationship.

Pennsylvania law creates rights and advantages for married people that are not automatically granted to unmarried couples, such as inheritance rights, tax-free property transfers, and monetary support. Unmarried couples must be very careful when purchasing, selling or transferring property between themselves, which can trigger unforeseen tax liability. A cohabitation agreement may help unmarried cohabitants to anticipate and plan for these issues. And, like prenuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements may contain provisions for dissolving the relationship and winding up financial affairs without acrimony. Unmarried couples may also need wills, powers of attorney, health care directives, life insurance, and other mechanisms that will honor and protect their relationships.

Unmarried couples who are residing together can call Pollock Begg to discuss their need for a cohabitation agreement and other legal documents to protect their rights as a couple, while at the same time safeguarding their individual interests and assets.

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