What to do if my boyfriend passed away last month and now his parents want to come in and take away all his things including things that we bought together?

We had been living together for 7 years everything we bought was for our lives together but we never thought of a will or anything. However, he did have me down as beneficiary on his life insurance. Now his family is saying because we were not married, they are taking everything, including the vehicles they are both of ours purchased together but he always handled the vehicles so they are in his name. Does that mean that I am left with nothing and am going to loose the little bit that I have left of him? Also, I am pregnant with his child, so isn’t the baby an heir?

Asked on September 25, 2013 under Estate Planning, Washington


Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Like Arizona, Washington does not recognize common-law marriages.  Therefore, if the vehicles are titled in his name, his parents have inherited them and they can take them.  As to the rest of the stuff, who owns it will probably depend on who paid for it.  If you were both working and you pooled your money, then you probably own half of everything, and you and the parents should try to work out some equitable division.  Although your unborn child did not inherit from its father, I would think that your boyfriend's parents would want to have some involvement in their grandchild's life.  Do they really want to alienate you and therefore probably their granchild by taking everything away from you?  I can't imagine that they do.  Try to work something out among yourselves so that you can keep what you need to and they can have a part in their grandchild's life.

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