what rights do I have to remain in my home of 10 years after sudden death of my mate?

Although not legally married we lived
as man and wife for 15 years. The last
ten years at this resident. He died of
a massive heart attack a month ago,at
age 50. His children are trying to make
me leave. Do I have any right, even
temporarily to live here until I can
figure out the rest of my life without
him?

Asked on May 6, 2016 under Estate Planning, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, if you were not married and he did not leave you the home in a will and you are not on the title, then unfortunately, you have no right to the home: living there for years, even as "man and wife," does not give you any legal rights to the home. The home will in this case go to his children, who may require you to leave (as can the court-appointed representative for the estate, who can ask you to leave so the home may go to the children or be sold for their benefit). If you don't leave when they ask you to, they can file a court case to remove you, which will take a few weeks, giving you a little time, but ultimately you will have to go--it may have been your home, but it will now be their property.
The story will be very different if you are on the title: then, with your partnter's death, you should become the owner and it will not be inherited by the children.


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