WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS TO MY PARTNER’S ASSETS, ETCAFTER HIS DEATH?

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WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS TO MY PARTNER’S ASSETS, ETCAFTER HIS DEATH?

I LIVED WITH MY PARTNER FOR 14 1/2 YEARS, AND HAVE BEEN SEPARATED FOR THE LAST MONTH. I DUE TO CONTINUED DRUG USE HE IS DYING OF HEART FAILUREE. CAN I DO ANYTHING? I HAVE NOT WORKED; I AM 50 AND HE SUPPORTED ME UNTIL NOW. WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST I DO IF ANYTHING?

Asked on May 26, 2011 under Family Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If there is a will, you will receive whatever the will calls for you to receive. If there is no will, you are not entitled to any share of his assets or belongings, or any monies due him. As unfair as this may be, a long-term partner has no rights, whereas a spouse--even one married for one day before the death does. As a non-spouse, you do not have a legal connection to him. (Note: California does not recognize "common law" marriage; only a marriage with a marriage license matters for  this purpose.)

You are entitled, of course, to any of your own belongings (own clothing, own computer and phone, etc.); also you may be entitled to a share of anything (like furniture or property) bought jointly, but will have to be able to prove your purchase or contribution.


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