If the father of my 2 children and I have lived as a couple for over 10 years, what are my rights to our savings account if my name is not on it?

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If the father of my 2 children and I have lived as a couple for over 10 years, what are my rights to our savings account if my name is not on it?

Since we are not legally married, I’m worried that if something happens to him if I won’t be able to use our savings account to pay for bills since I’m not on it. He has some health issues.

Asked on January 13, 2016 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you are not married and you are not common law married, then the account would have to be handled via probate or a transfer by an authorized relative.  If he has health issues, then you and he need to make some important decisions now.  An easy decision is to simply add you to the account as a joint account holder with right of survivorship.  This means that once he passes, then the balance of the account would automatically go to the survivor... namely, you.   Another option is for him to purchase a decent life or disability insurance policy with sufficient funds to give you and your children some stability. 
A third option is for the two of you to simply get married.  This would make you formally a relative... and would also create a presuption of community assets. 
Doing all three would not hurt... but at least adding your name to the account is the foremost option which will have the desired effect in the event that somethings happens to the father of your children.


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