If my father died he had an apartment that he shared with his girlfriend, who owns the items inside – his girlfriend or his heirs?

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If my father died he had an apartment that he shared with his girlfriend, who owns the items inside – his girlfriend or his heirs?

The apartment was in his name alone.

Asked on July 21, 2013 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Anything which he bought or paid for would go to your father's heirs. Anything she bought or paid for is hers. Anything they jointly bought belongs to his estate (and then to his heirs) and to her in proportion to what they spent; e.g. if they jointly bought a $1,500 TV, "half" of it belongs to his estate and she should have to buy out half the current value to keep it. For many items, it will be difficult to prove who owns it, and likely not worth the time/effort/legal expense of doing so (that is, for many items, if she wants them, you probably should let her have them if you don't have evidence they belonged to your father).


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