Laurie Murphy, a Valensi Rose partner and head of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group, was in a Huffington Post article on legal issues that should be considered by unmarried couples who decide to buy a home.

According to a study cited by the article’s author, Ann Brenoff, one in four unwed millennial couples have jointly purchased a house or condominium. Brenoff, a Senior Writer and Columnist for the publication and previously a Los Angeles Times staff writer, noted that low mortgage interest rates, and the ability to deduct that interest as well as property taxes, can make homeownership an attractive option.

In the article, Laurie suggested that unmarried couples discuss in advance how they will handle the broad range of issues that may arise after the purchase, such as if they break up, decide to marry, disagree about whether to sell the property, who will inherit the other’s interest if one of them dies, and so on.

The “bottom line,” said Laurie, is that “owning property can be complicated, and in my opinion it is always best to have something in writing, especially if you are unmarried.”

She added, “When and if they go to document their ‘agreement,’ it will of course force them to confront some uncomfortable issues ― similar to those confronted by couples who document pre- and post-nuptial agreements.”

Later-in-life unwed couples who choose to purchase a home together can face even more complicated issues than those confronting millennials, Laurie pointed out.

One of the two may have significantly more income and assets than the other. In addition, “there can be adult children, minor children, grandchildren and sometimes elderly parents to be considered.”

Regardless of age, Laurie advised, “any time two unmarried people of any age want to buy property together, it’s imperative that they plan for an infinite number of what-ifs,” and then record those plans in a well-prepared legal document that will protect both parties later.

Laurie has more than three decades of experience dealing with complex disputes in a wide range of business and real estate matters and trust and estates litigation.