Legal right to assets

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Legal right to assets

Texas- father recently passed away. He had a
girlfriend that he had been together for 30 or so
years. They are both still married but to other
people, neither one had ever filed for divorce
from thier partner. House is in both of thier
names his other assets are just in his. I am the
legal next of kin. I am having difficulty getting
his property from her. Should I seek legal
counsel or just give up

Asked on August 1, 2017 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

I assume that your father died without a Will. If so, then he died "intestate", so the intestacy laws of the state in which he was domiciled at the date of his death will control. I will also assume that since you mentioned no siblings, you are an only child. That being the case, you are entitled to inherit all of your father's estate. It consists of his personal property and possibly part of the house. If on the deed after your father's and his girlfriend's names it reads, "Joint tenants with rights of survivorship", then the house is hers. If, however, the dead is silent as to suvivorship, then they held it as "tenants in common" which means that your father's 1/2 of the house is now yours. Also, just be aware that not all property becomes part of the estate. Things such as life insurance proceeds, funds in an IRA, 401(k), or other retirement account, payable-on-death bank accounts, etc. will go to the named beneficiary listed on them. Bottom line, while you have inheritnce rights, depending on the value f the estate, it may or may not be worht your while pursing legal action. At this point, you should consult directly with a local probate attorney; they can best advise you further.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

I assume that your father died without a Will. If so, then he died "intestate", so the intestacy laws of the state in which he was domiciled at the date of his death will control. I will also assume that since you mentioned no siblings, you are an only child. That being the case, you are entitled to inherit all of your father's estate. It consists of his personal property and possibly part of the house. If on the deed after your father's and his girlfriend's names it reads, "Joint tenants with rights of survivorship", then the house is hers. If, however, the dead is silent as to suvivorship, then they held it as "tenants in common" which means that your father's 1/2 of the house is now yours. Also, just be aware that not all property becomes part of the estate. Things such as life insurance proceeds, funds in an IRA, 401(k), or other retirement account, payable-on-death bank accounts, etc. will go to the named beneficiary listed on them. Bottom line, while you have inheritnce rights, depending on the value f the estate, it may or may not be worht your while pursing legal action. At this point, you should consult directly with a local probate attorney; they can best advise you further.


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