Should my brother marry his girl friend before he dies to make it easier on her after he passes?

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Should my brother marry his girl friend before he dies to make it easier on her after he passes?

We are worried that she will lose the house and any SS benefits and/or insurance benefits that she may be entitled to collect. They have been together for decades but never married. Neither are terribly educated; nor would they be capable of negotiating complicated legal issues. I do not believe he has a Will.

Asked on June 5, 2012 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

This is really not the frum for estate planning and that is what you are asking here. She will always have more rights as hiw lawful wife.  If the assets they hold are jointly held with rights of suvivorship then they will pass to her. If not then she gets nothing legally because she is not his spouse.  Please have a lawyer go and speak with your brother.  If he wants her to collect SS benefits as a spouse then they have tio be married.  If you ar speaking of an insurance policy then he can designate her as the beneficiary on the policy.  Insurance benefits like health insurance etc., would not be in place if they are not married.  Good luck.


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