What are my rights as far as property is concerned after living with a man for 30 years who recently passed away?

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What are my rights as far as property is concerned after living with a man for 30 years who recently passed away?

I am totally disabled and we bought a handicap van that I need badly. Of course it was in his name. It wasn’t brand new so it’s not a high priced item. I think he paid about $2000 for it. Any way his

son is his only heir and is trying to gain control of everything, including the van. Can he do this? There is much more property but at this point all I am asking for is my personal property and the van. Can you help me?

Asked on March 1, 2018 under Estate Planning, Michigan

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the situation as it stands.  It is obvious that the van was for your benefit as the decedent did not need a van that had been altered for a disability.  Is it possible for you to get help from an attorney or perhaps legal services that help those with disabilities?  Speak with them about the possibility of  contesting probate and imposing a constructive trust as to the van.  That you were the intended beneficiary of the trust.  It is unclear under Michigan case law if it will work but perhaps it will open up the channels to negotiation in a more realistic manner if he thinks he has to spend money to fight you for it.  Good luck.


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