Living together agreements

Securing your financial future

The number of couples choosing to live together but not get married is on the increase. This in itself it not a problem; the potential difficulties arise if the relationship were to break down. Unless careful consideration is given at the outset, the consequences in relation to their respective assets can be disastrous.

As lawyers advising on such matters over many years we are often asked what will happen to property owned by one of the parties should the relationship break down. They worry if they “move” their partner into their property the partner will then have a “claim” on the property or other assets even if they are not married.

The same difficulties can arise if the parties buy a property together in unequal shares but do not protect or “ring-fence” their financial interest – for example, one party may contribute a higher amount towards the deposit or the deposit may be funded partly or entirely by one of the parties’ parents or other relative.

It is becoming increasingly common for couples in this position to have a Living Together Agreement drawn up (or cohabitation agreement as it is also known). Scott Richards can offer this service for a fixed fee, starting at £1,000.00 plus VAT.

You might wonder why this is relevant but it is: couples that live together can make virtually no use of the system of law available to married persons and are therefore much more vulnerable if the relationship breaks down or the death of one party.

Whereas the Courts have power to adjust property rights on divorce, they can only determine who owns property and in what shares on the basis of actual contributions of unmarried couples and/or their intentions. It may be difficult to prove actual contributions and on separation either or both of the parties may have honestly forgotten (or conveniently forgotten) their original intentions.

A living together agreement provides the framework for couples to record their intentions and record their respective contributions. This in turn will hopefully set aside any fears they may have prior to living together and they can feel safe in the knowledge that if the relationship was to break down, then the agreement will safeguard them financially.

The terms to be included in the agreement are a matter for the parties involved, however it is extremely important that both parties seek independent legal advice. The agreement can include details about property, payment of the mortgage, outgoings, ownership of contents, liability for debt, ownership of bank accounts and much more.

The agreement will need to be precise and detailed and confirm that the parties intend to create legal relations which will then ensure that the agreement carries weight, should it be relied upon in the event of a relationship breakdown.

The parties may also be advised in relation to a Deed of Trust being drafted which sets out the ownership and respective beneficial interests in the home.

It is also essential that couples living together both make Wills, particularly because of the lack of protection under the Intestacy Rules. Any existing Wills should be checked to ensure they are appropriate for the couple’s present circumstances, especially where one or both have pre-existing obligations such as children from a previous marriage or relationship.

Please contact a member of the Family Department if you would like to find out more. You can call us on 01626 772441, or send us an email.

 

Client Privacy Policy

Scott Richards Solicitors is a partnership and a ‘controller’ under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.

The basis on which we process your personal data is for one or more of the following reasons:

• It is necessary for the performance of our contract with you

• Updating and enhancing client records

• Analysis to help manage our practice

• Statutory returns

• Legal and regulatory compliance

• You have given us your consent, which can be withdrawn at any time by advising our Compliance Manager Sue Carter.

Our use of that information is subject to your instructions, data protection law and our duty of confidentiality.

Please note that our work for you may require us to pass on such information to third parties such as medical experts, barristers, expert witness including sometimes advisors appointed by another party to your matter. We may also give such information to others who perform services for us on your behalf such as financial advisors or estate agents and surveyors, process servers and other professional advisors. Our practice may be audited or checked by a regulator or our accountants or by other organisations. We do not normally copy such information to anyone outside the European Economic Area, however, we may do so when the circumstances of your matter so require. All such third parties are required to maintain confidentiality in relation to your files.

Your personal information

You have a right of access under the data protection law to the personal data we hold about you. We seek to keep that personal data correct and up to date. You should let us know if you believe the information we hold on you needs to be corrected or updated.

We will not sell, distribute or lease your personal information to third parties unless we have your permission or are required by law to do so. We may use your personal information to send you promotional information about third parties which we think you may find interesting but only if you tell us that you wish this to happen.

You may request details of personal information which we hold about you under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If you would like a copy of the information held on you, please write to Scott Richards, Newfoundland House, 4 Regent Street, Teignmouth, Devon, TQ14 8SL.

Data Protection Officer

We have appointed a Data Protection Officer (DPO) as our representative for the purposes of the GDPR. Our Data Protection Officer is Jamie Dyson. He is supported in this role by our Compliance Manager, Sue Carter. If you have any further questions regarding how we store or process your data, then please direct them to Sue Carter.

Data Protection in relation to money laundering checks

We may receive personal data from you for our money laundering checks, such as a copy of your passport or driving licence and either a utility bill or bank statement. These will be processed only for the purpose of preventing money laundering and terrorist financing, or as otherwise permitted by law or with your express consent.

Data Protection - Your Obligations

If you send us personal data about anyone other than yourself you will ensure you have the appropriate consents and measures in place to enable you to transfer that personal data to us, and so that we may use it for the purpose for which you provide it to us.

Complaints

You have the right to complain about the processing of your personal information. If you would like to do so, please contact us at Scott Richards, Newfoundland House, 4 Regent Street, Teignmouth, Devon, TQ14 8SL. If you are still dissatisfied, you have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioners Office. Their website can be found at www.ico.org.uk and their contact details are:

Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF

Helpline number: 0303 123 1113

 

 

Dentistry Show 2019

For the third year running, Scott Richards attended the Dentistry Show at the NEC in Birmingham, running on the 17th and 18th May.

The event had over 400 exhibitors (of which we were just one!) and was attended by over 10,000 dental professionals.  This was our opportunity to talk direct to dental professionals about the specialist services that we can offer the dental profession.

To make things more interesting, we ran a competition to win a bottle of a local gin, Thunderflower, made just around the corner from our offices in Teignmouth.  To win, all you had to do was dress up.  Here are just a few of the entries.

                                

Thank you to everyone who visited our stand.

Please contact a member of our team to find out more about the services we can offer to the dental profession.

  

Client Account Details

Payment of Funds to Us
We may need to ask for money on account of costs or disbursements, or you may need to pay a deposit or completion funds for a purchase transaction.  As a result of the closure of our bank branch, we are unfortunately no longer able to accept payment via cash or cheque.  We accept payment of funds via the following methods:

1. Debit cards up to a maximum of £1,000.00. Please telephone 01626 772441 for details.  We are not able to accept payment by credit card, Diners Club or American Express.

2. Electronic Transfers:  

Account Name:                      Scott Richards Client Account
Sort Code:                               20-60-88
Account No:                            20788988
Bank Address:                        Barclays Bank PLC
                                                    40 Courtenay Street
                                                   Newton Abbot
                                                   TQ12 2EA

Reference: Please quote the reference at the top right of any letters from us to enable us to identify your payment

To ensure protection of your money, you should telephone us at the number at the top of our letterhead and speak to the person dealing with your transaction to confirm our bank details prior to making any payment.

Please note that we only have one client account.  Our banking details will not change during the course of the transaction.  If you receive an email or any other form of communication informing you differently, please telephone the number on our letterhead and speak to the person dealing with the transaction. 

We will not accept responsibility if you transfer money to an incorrect account.

Payment of Funds to You
We may need to pay funds to you.  We will do this by means of electronic funds transfer.  If you have a bank account in England, Scotland or Wales we will ask you to provide your bank account details to us at the start of your matter.  This can be by way of a cancelled cheque, a paying in book or an original bank statement.  If you are not able to attend our offices to provide these details, we can accept a photograph of any of these documents.  If you provide a photograph, we will phone you to confirm these details. 

We will check your preference and can either:

  1. Make a "BACS" payment into your account (this usually takes 3 to 4 working days and there is no cost to you), or
  2. Make a telegraphic transfer (CHAPS) payment into your bank account.  In this instance, funds are transferred on the same working day but there is a charge to you. The charge is usually £30.00 plus VAT.

If your only bank account is held with a bank outside of England, Scotland or Wales, it may still be possible for us to make a payment to that account.  You will need to provide us with the details of that account.  There will be an administration charge for this service, in addition to any standard charges levied by the sending and receiving banks.  We will confirm this with you should this service be required.

Please note that we can only make payments to you as our client and not to any third party.

Technical standards

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Adobe PDFs

Many Scott Richards documents are in Adobe's Portable Document Format, abbreviated to 'PDF'.We are amending them; documents over five pages long will have a 'live' table of contents, allowing users to jump directly to the page required. To return to the beginning of the document, press your keyboard's 'home' key.

 

Further information

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Contact a Member of the Private Client Team

Scott Richards

Scott Richards Solicitors
Newfoundland House
4 Regent St 
Teignmouth TQ14 8SL

law@scottrichards.co.uk

01626 772441

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