Does a life partner have any legal claim to their deceased’s partners estate?

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Does a life partner have any legal claim to their deceased’s partners estate?

My brother passed away last year; he was not married but did have a life partner. There was a Will but it was not signed. I, along with my younger brother, are the executors of the estate. My brother purchased a modular home and it was setup on land that he already owned. The land and house were in his name only. My brother made payments but his partner says that he paid off the loan on the house. Does he have any legal claim to ownership of the house?

Asked on February 8, 2012 under Estate Planning, South Carolina

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the life partner was not in your brother's Will or trust as a named beneficiary or was on legal title to any brokerage accounts or real property, the life partner has no legal entitlement to any assets of your brother's estate.

The only proviso would be if this partner can prove that actual payments on the loan to the house were made by this person. If so, the life partner may have an equitable claim for reimbursement for pay off of the loan.


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