March 27, 2023

That’s it: you’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life (or at least the next few years) with.

Together, you may have important life projects, like buying a condo in Montreal or a house in the Laurentians. To avoid legal pitfalls and possible chicanery, it is better to inform yourself before you start.

To get the facts straight – and have peace of mind – follow these tips from the Chamber of Notaries of Quebec which will no doubt elucidate some of your questions about real estate, common-law union and the responsibilities of parenthood.

How do you make an offer to purchase as a couple?

The offer to purchase is an exciting and scary step at the same time. And with good reason: once this offer has been signed and accepted, modifying it is very difficult. Before getting started, it is therefore important to make sure that you understand and accept all the clauses of the document (payment deadlines, methods of financing, etc.) and that it complies with the law.

To protect your money, be sure to go to the notary before signing the purchase offer in order to decipher it properly… and have it modified if necessary!

If we don’t have the same budget, how do we manage?

Whether it’s for the down payment or the mortgage payment, you may not have the same budget. One of you could receive help from your parents, for example, or have a higher salary – and that’s not a problem as long as you take the time to define everyone’s contribution beforehand. Do you plan to pay 30/70, 40/60 or even 50/50?

A joint ownership agreement, a joint life contract or an agreement concerning the down payment, all signed at a notary, can ensure that everyone will receive a refund equal to their initial investment in the event of the sale of the house. . This notarial deed will also allow you to plan the terms and conditions surrounding mortgage repayments and expenses related to the property.

What should we plan for in the event of death or separation?

Even if it’s uncomfortable to discuss, you have to think now about your game plan in the event of death or separation. The questions to ask vary over time and according to the family situation (eg with or without children) in which you find yourself.

Discussing the will and cohabitation contract with your notary will allow you to think about all of this.

Are there ways to protect our money even if we don’t get married?

There are several ways to do this! A simple cohabitation contract could help you plan the terms of sharing your property in the event of separation, but also those of repaying joint debts, such as the car, furniture or household appliances. .

An agreement between co-owners, an acknowledgment of debts, a loan contract, a deed of gift, etc. are also ways to protect your investment. And in the event of death, a will will cover other aspects. Your notary will be able to present the scenarios to you and give you good advice.

We want a baby, do we have to make a will?

It is preferable. A will allows you to determine to whom your inheritance (house, money, goods) will go after your death and to prevent your children from being your main heirs, if this is not what you wish. It also allows you to indicate who will take care of your children, how their inheritance will be used while they are children, and even beyond. You could even give instructions for their education, hobbies, etc.

However, you should know that the document is individual, which means that you will each have to produce a will. You can obviously consult each other in order to align your wishes concerning the future of your children or of some of your common property.

To take full advantage of the major stages of life, a good advice, go see a notary to protect you legally.

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