If my companion and I have lived together for 16 years and have a civil union contract, what are my rights to his house under a beneficiary deed?

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If my companion and I have lived together for 16 years and have a civil union contract, what are my rights to his house under a beneficiary deed?

He has had dementia for over a year and is now hospitalized. His niece has power of attorney and wants him moved to a full-time care facility. The home we live in is in his name but he had a beneficiary deed made out to me 5 years ago. Am I safe from this niece and her 2 brothers? He has no other relatives and I’m worried that they might kick me out.

Asked on March 15, 2015 under Estate Planning, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I am not passing the buck but you need to sit down with an attorney and bring all the relevant documents with you as soon as possible.  I am hoping that the beneficary deed was recorded and that it was executed when your companion was of sound mind (that may be the challenge by his family).  However, it is not valid until your companion passes.  The civil union contract should indeed afford you some protection under Colorado law but please: go and speak with a lawyer as to what you can do to protect yourself. While the POA of his neice is a concern for you, understand that it can generally NOT be used to transfer real property unless it is specific to that. Good luck to you. 


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