Is a boyfriend entitled to a dead girlfriend’s possessions?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is a boyfriend entitled to a dead girlfriend’s possessions?

My sister died and left a car. It was my sister’s wish that the car her dead husband

bought remain in her family. The guy she lived with after her husband passed away

thinks he should keep the car. The guy is not related to my sister.

Asked on October 16, 2016 under Estate Planning, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, he has no legal right whatsover to the car, and if he refuses to return it, the personal representative for the estate (the executor or court-appointed administrator) could file charges against him for theft or sue for the car's return (or its monetary value). "Boyfriend" is not a legal relationship--it gives him no rights to any of your sister's belongings. Rather, if there was no will, in your state, under the rules for "intestate succession" (who gets what when there is no will), the car will go your parents (if alive) or to you and any other siblings (if your parents are not alive). However, first the car "belongs" to your sister's estate, before it is distributed to whomever will inherit it; therefore, only the person authorized to act for the estate by the probate court (the personal representative, who is the executor or administrator) can take action in regards to the car.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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