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What is a no nupt?

The cultural tides are always changing. Today, more couple cohabitate without marriage and while it's an individual's choice how to define their relationship, it also creates the potential for financial challenges when a couple is together for a long time without formally tying the knot.

Marriage has traditionally protected couples by creating a legal connection that distributes assets in a break-up or death. For couple who don't plan to get married, they need to address their merged finances and responsibilities carefully so no one gets hit with an unfair burden.

Financial planners suggest a "no nupt," an agreement on finances between both parties to make that no partner is left with unsettled debt or is kept away from key decision-making.

3 elements of the no nupt

There are three main factors to include when planning finances as an unmarried couple:

  • Assets and liabilities
  • Who pays the bills
  • Who gets what

Securing rights and access

The name is a play on the prenuptial agreement term. It's a measure to make sure you have access to property that, for married couples, who be automatically be deemed marital property if contested. It also can extend to power of attorney rights for key matters like health care decisions.

Designating a beneficiary on a retirement plan or insurance policy is a start to making sure that your partner has access to your community property from your relationship, but many facets of life don't allow unmarried partners the same benefits.

The no nupt is a financial plan to share duties and responsibility in a fair way, so if something unexpected does happen one partner isn't left out of the decision-making or owing a disproportionate bill.

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