Who would get the house if my partner dies without a will?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Who would get the house if my partner dies without a will?

I have been living with my partner girlfriend for 20 years. She owns the house and has no living relatives. She refuses to get a will. Our bank accounts are joined and the house has been my legal address for 20 years. She pays the mortgage through the shared bank accounts. She does not make enough money to cover the mortgage and expenses on her own, the money comes mostly from my salary. Since I am not named as an owner in any way, if she should pass, would I be able to remain in the house? Would I be able to have the title put in my name? Or would I be asked to vacate by the mortgage company since I am not named even though I would be able to continue paying the bills?

Asked on December 14, 2016 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Being partners does not convey any legal rights to the home. If there is no will and you are not on the title, then when she passes, you will *not* get the house, and will have no right to have the title transferred to your name. If there are no living relatives, the house will go to the state (escheat), though note: estates (what is left behind by the deceased, including the house) can go to quite distant relatives in your state--it will pass at need to heirs of your partner's grandparents, which can include include people your partner has never had contact with (or possibly even heard of), unless it is foreclosed upon by the lender for nonpayment of mortgage. 
There is no circumstance in which it will go you: the house will go to lender or distant relative, or possibly even the state, but not you. You have no legal standing to get it, and the fact that you have been or are willing to pay bills does not change that.
To be protected, your partner needs to either put you on title now, or draft a will leaving the home to you.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption