does my decease fiance mother have legal rights to his personal belongings an us living together?

my mother in law fiance passed away and there is no will or anything. His mother
is trying to get possession of his belongings and some where things where giving
away before he passed away from him. so can she get therm even with them living
together for the past 17 years. his mother came over and looked through his
belongings and didnt find what they are looking for and left everything else. and
the items his mother is wanting is no longer in the house and my mother in law
not knowing what he did with the items.

Asked on October 30, 2017 under Estate Planning, Missouri

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

When someone dies without a Will they die "intestate". This means that state intestacy laws control the distribution of an estate. Typically, in such a case heirs the surviving spouse, if any, children and if none then parents. Since you were nt married you do not qualify as a spouse. Accordingly, your late boyrfirend's estate is inherited by his mother (and father). That having been said, anything that was given as a gift, as well as your own personal possessions, are your property.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Anything not given/gifted to you would belong to him, not you: "fiance" is not a legal relationship (unlike spouse) and gives you no inheritance rights, and living together also gives you no inheritance rights. She, not you, inherits from him if there is no will leaving his possessions to you. Of course, something may have been given away or gifted to someone (including you), and proving what was still his versus being another's may be difficult for her--but legally, anything owned by him would go to her, not you.


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