Unmarried partner of 15 years died on Monday night. no living family members and no will for his estate. He owned three properties and did not share title finances or tax returns. Body is not being released by state until a payor of estate is appointed by the court. Need guidance on rights of the living partner and how she can protect rights in immediate term.
State/Country relating to question: Pennsylvania
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX X'X an Estate Law attorney here to assist you.Unfortunately, if you were not married and if the deceased partner did not leave a will directing that you were to receive any portion of the estate, you would not be entitled to inherit or receive any property that was owned at the time of death. This is so because the laws of intestate succession (used when there is no will) only provide for the transfer of property to the legal heirs at law of the deceased - which does not include an un-married partner. Here's a link to the law: http://law.onecle.com/pennsylvania/decedents-estates-and-fiduciaries/00.021.001.000.htmlIn this case, your right to any property of the estate would be limited to whatever his next of kin/heirs are willing to give you.
there is no next of kin. We are currently in the house owned by the deceased and lived in by the couple. Are we at risk by staying in this house? When will authorities seize the property and do we have a right to take out what belongs to us?
There is really no threat to stay in the house if there are no heirs or other people that will make a claim to the property. As long as the mortgage and taxes are paid, you should be left alone. No authorities ate going to intervene unless some default in payment occurs. Also, you can take whatever belongs to you from the residence any time.
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So will the state ask us to leave his house at any point? Also is there any way of proving a common-law marriage as a basis for inheritance? If not how does the state dispose or sell his assets? What about liquid assets?
Beginning in 2005, marriage under common law in Pennsylvania was abolished. However, any marriage made under the common law of Pennsylvania prior to 2005, however, remains valid.Thus, you may be able to claim that you were married by common law. The state is not likely to do anything at all. Your best option is to see an attorney about claiming the estate as the common law spouse.
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