What possible rights does my father’s girlfriend have to his estate?

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What possible rights does my father’s girlfriend have to his estate?

My dad and his girlfriend have been dating for 4 years. She lives here (and her mail comes here) but she has a different last name. My dad owns land (only in his name) and his Will does not include her. They also do not file joint taxes nor share bank accounts. Is there any way possible that when he passes away she can gain access to his assets and the house I live in?

Asked on August 20, 2014 under Estate Planning, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You are doing a little anticipatory estate planning which is a great thing. But you need to discuss your concerns with your dad too.  First, and most importantly, California is NOT a common law marriage state.  So while the things you list could be used to determine if a common law marriage existed (i.e, holding yourself out as married), it would not apply where you are.  So unless he leaves her everything in the Will or transfers the assets while he is alive, she would not stand to inherit anything under the law.  Good luck.


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