Questions to Ask about a split up
What will happen if we decide we will not live together after we have both signed for a mortgage and put the property in our joint names? Who should be responsible for the mortgage? Who will be responsible for the home? Should the home be sold? The way to assure that things are handled properly if you split up is to draft a partnership agreement while you like/love each other. As unromantic as it sounds, it is critical to handle this transaction as if it were a business arrangement. The agreement should set forth how things should be handled in the event of a breakup. It should be signed and notarized and each party should keep an original. Remember, you will likely not have a divorce judge ordering how the property will be split up, so to prevent substantial legal expenses down the road, this should be done contemporaneously with the purchase of the property
Questions to ask about a death
What will happen if one of us dies? How will the mortgage be paid? Will the surviving party be the one to continue to hold title? Will the surviving party be sharing the ownership of the property with the dead parties relatives? If you intend on assuring that the party that survives is to continue on in the home you need to do two things: (1) Hold the property in joint tenancy; (2) have a life insurance policy that covers both or each of you to cover the balance of the mortgage. If you each want your interest to go to your relatives: (1) Hold the property in Tenants in Common, (2) Each should draft a will, (3) draft an agreement providing for the sale of the property upon the death of either party.