Buying a Home as a Couple: What You Need to Know

How to protect your spouse in case of death when you are not married? Is it better to acquire in SCI? What are the advantages of the pacs? Master Labor helps us to see more clearly about the myths and realities of the acquisition of a property as a couple

For married couples

The regime of “community of property reduced to acquests” applies automatically. Spouses who buy a home are both owners and have the same rights to the property. These are the best protected in case of death of one of the members of the couple. The survivor acquires the structure of the house or apartment, ” but that does not apply if it is a stepfamily “, warns Master Labor, notary of Corbeil-Essonnes. ” Since 2001, if the survivor has already had a child during a previous union, then he owns only a quarter of the property.His child will not be able to inherit.The parents of the deceased husband are allocated the real estate shares of the latter. “In such a situation, the only real assurance that exists is “the will,” says Master Labor.

Warning : If one of the spouses finances the whole of the property or part of it with clean funds received “by donation, inheritance or resulting from pre-marriage savings”, or if its contribution is greater than 50% of the price of the property the dwelling belongs to him entirely. In the event of divorce or death, he will only have to pay compensation to his partner.

See also >> Donation / succession: the points to know before leaving your property

For the couples pacsés

In normal times, the pacsés couples are housed under the system of the separation of the goods. Since 2007, as part of a real estate acquisition, the spouses specify, in the act of purchase, the sums committed by each. In the absence of this mention, they are considered half owners both.

In the event of the death of one of the two members, the housing returns to the spouse if he pays succession duties ” often very important “, indicates Mr. Labor. ” If a will has been written by the missing person, then the survivor will automatically be exempt from inheritance tax.” If the couple has children, the survivor has an “available quota”. His shares in the house vary according to the number of children in the household (one third if they are two, one quarter if they are three ….)

For the cohabitants

Side protection, there is hardly any. “When we live in concubinage and we buy together, it is the regime of the separation of property that is required,” said Master Labor. If one of the spouses comes to die or in case of separation, each one recovers the part of the sum which he invested for the purchase of the housing. “Generally, I add a sheet annexed to the contract of sale specifying the sums committed by the two members, at the time of the acquisition”. It is possible to sleep on his will his partner, so that it benefits from the usufruct of the property. But beware of estate expenses. Not being pacsé, the concubine is considered a third party and must pay up to 60%inheritance tax on the value of the property. ” Many customers come to me thinking that buying in SCI (real estate companies), they will not pay anything.It is a myth.The purchase of SCI does not exempt you from inheritance,” recalls the notary.

Remember : It is possible to attach to the purchase agreement an indivision agreement in which the couple can place a buy-back clause priority. If one spouse dies, the other will have one month to act before the heirs of the deceased and thus recover the share of his partner. The solution of buying a tontine home is also a good insurance. In the event of death, the property returns to his partner and he does not pay inheritance tax. But this device is only valid if the principal residence is estimated at less than 76 000 € …