If my “stepfather” just died but he and my mother never actually got married, how could my mother get his retirement money or his social security money?

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If my “stepfather” just died but he and my mother never actually got married, how could my mother get his retirement money or his social security money?

They were together for over 20 years.

Asked on November 25, 2014 under Estate Planning, New Mexico

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, she can not claim any money as a spouse because the state of New Mexico does not recognize common law marriage.  His SS money can not go to her but his retirement could possible if she were named beneficiary or any other way under the terms of the retirement plan.  Good luck.


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