Avoid the pitfalls of buying together before marriage

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One of the benefits of getting married is that, if you get divorced or a spouse dies, you have a claim on each other's real estate, even if your name isn't on the deed. That automatic right doesn't exist for unmarried couples, so if you plan to buy an apartment with your partner, it's important to put some protective measures in place, notes DNAinfo

First, have a frank conversation (or three) about money: discuss how much each of you can contribute to the down payment, closing costs, and the mortgage, and set out a plan for worst case scenarios like breakups or death. 

It's also crucial to draw up a contract detailing who gets the apartment in the event of a split (or how you'll divvy up the proceeds from a sale). Commonly, unmarried couples own apartments as either "joint tenants with rights of survivorship," where the property goes to the surviving partner in the case of a death, or as a "tenancy in common," where multiple people can own different shares of a property, and transfer shares while alive or via a will. 


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