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Because she makes more than John, Jane proceeds to make the monthly mortgage payments.Is Jane then entitled to any of the equity she’s creating by paying down John’s mortgage? Absent a legal document to the contrary, it’s John’s house and his equity.

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But if you’re providing your domestic partner with health care benefits, the portion applying to them could be taxable to you.

In other words, if John covers Jane as a domestic partner under his employer-sponsored health plan, John could be taxed by Uncle Sam for any benefits extended to Jane. Federal tax law specifically excludes employee benefits received by spouses from taxation, but Uncle Sam doesn’t recognize domestic partners.

I'm a CPA, author of a few books and multiple Emmy recipient.

I'm married to a woman I don't deserve, have an awesome dog and live on the water in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

If you’re married and die without a will, your estate will eventually go to your spouse because, according to the law, your spouse is your next of kin.

If you’re unmarried and die without a will, your estate still goes to your next of kin — but that’s not your partner.

The correct path will depend on John’s tax bracket and Jane’s cost of health insurance.

If one partner has a medical emergency, absent paper to the contrary, the other has no legal right to be given information or to make decisions about care.

If both parties are on the deed as owners, but only one is on the mortgage, the one responsible for the mortgage remains responsible, even if that person has moved out and moved on.

Another common scenario: John already owns a house, then Jane moves in.

While it may not matter to your employer if you’re hitched, it does matter to the IRS.

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