What are my rights if my fiancee died without a Will?

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What are my rights if my fiancee died without a Will?

His daughter agreed to share the estate with me. He had a mortgage on a duplex which is where we lived and his brother rented the other side. We didn’ t put the house on the market because the brother is still trying to buy the home. I should mention the agreement we have was written up by an attorney and was notarized. Do I really have any legal rights and could i own half of this duplex and rent it out instead of selling the home instead of selling it? Not that it matters but we were together 20 years and I only have myself to blame for not getting married and my state abolished common law marriage 10 years ago.

Asked on January 23, 2015 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Only a will can transfer assets after death, and no other type of "agreement" will be enforceable to transfer assets after death unless that agreement fulfills all the requirements of a will. Also, an agreement with the daughter to share the estate would not be enforceable, since that kind of promise, made without any consideration (value to the other party, the daughter, to bind the agreement) is not enforceable. You are entitled to anything you can prove you own (e.g. paid for from your own money and did not gift to your fiance), or a share of anything you can prove you contributed to (e.g. furniture bought jointly), because you own those items (or a share therein) already; you are also entitled to anything you can prove he gifted (gave) to you during his life; but you are not entitled to anything owned by your fiance at the time of his death.


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