With all the talk these days about gay marriage, you'd think everyone in America is dying to tie the knot.
In fact, however, there are still plenty of people, both gay and straight, who are totally happy just living together. More than 15 million Americans do it, 6.5 percent of our adult population.
Now if you're becoming one of those people, there are three things you need to know.
First, how to buy a house. The wrong way? One owns, both pay. Remember, the house will belong to the person whose name appears on the legally recorded deed.
If you're not married, the law doesn't give a hoot about verbal agreements you have made or who paid what. If you want to be an owner of the hose, you've got to be on the deed.
And if you're on the mortgage, remember... if you break up, you're still going to be responsible for that mortgage.
Then there's a will. If you're married and don't have a will, you've got some protection. If you're not married, without a will, as far as the law is concerned, you're strangers| even if you've shared a bed for 20 years.
Finally, health coverage - depending on the employer, one partner might be able to cover the other.
But if you're providing your unmarried partner with healthcare benefits, those benefits could be taxable to you.
Bottom line? Living together doesn't necessarily mean co-mingling money, but if you're going to do that, do it right. Need more advice? I've got it waiting for you right here at moneytalksnews.com.
Just do a search for "Living Together."
For Money Talks News, I'm Stacy Johnson.