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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 101324
Experience:  Fully licensed attorney in Texas in private practice.
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I have lived with a married man years. His wife died

Customer Question

I have lived with a married man for 22 years. His wife died 2 months ago. He died June 5th. Can I claime common law wife. We have a joint checking accounts, he recieved mail at my address. He introduced me as his wife. He called my family his family.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:
(A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein. No attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. This is repeated in numerous disclaimers throughout the site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and (B) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my reply while I am typing out my answer.
I am very sorry to hear about your loss. On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and this is one of these times. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize. Thanks in advance for not "shooting the messenger."
Unfortunately, a common law marriage is simply not an option if one of the parties was already married, even if only by technicality. Regardless, he was still married. So no, a common law marriage would not be recognized in such a situation.
However, joint accounts go to the survivor (i.e. you) generally speaking, as well as of course the insurance policies he named you as the beneficiary with. This does not become part of his "estate," bypasses probate, and goes directly to you.
Please note: If I tell you simply what you wish to hear, this would be unfair to you. I want to be honest with you and sometimes this means providing information that is not optimal. Negative ratings are reserved for experts who are rude or for erroneous information. Please rate me on the quality of my information; do not punish me for my honesty.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Gentle Reminder: Use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please rate when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces/stars and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your answer. I'm very satisfied with your answer. Again , thank you, Cindy
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome. Good luck, and please don't forget to rate my answer in one of top three faces and then actually SUBMIT – it is the only way I get credit for my time with you – or, please use the REPLY or SEND button to keep on chatting – I want you to be satisfied.

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