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Teacher Editor
Teacher Editor, Instructor
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  College Instructor
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My mother just passed away this past week- my brother are my

Customer Question

My mother just passed away this past week- my brother are my mothers next of kin. My father is trying to say he has a common law marriage to my mother because he lived in the same house. But they my mother lived down stairs and my father up stairs. He could not afford to live on his own. He paid rent. They have been divorce for about 28 years.
Is he a common law husband ? They live in Vancouver Washington.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Teacher Editor replied 6 years ago.
Washington is not a common law marriage state so a common law marriage could not have been formed. While there is some case law in Washington for same sex couples to form a common law marriage, this situation would not count as a common law marriage. Even if you lived in a common law state, there are different requirements to have a common law marriage such as holding out as husband and wife to others, etc. But at the end of the day, Washington is not a common law state so he's going to have an uphill battle if he tries to argue that and it will probably not stand.
Teacher Editor and 5 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Dose my brother and I need to file a probate petition? for her estate?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
My mother owned property and she had no will.
Expert:  Teacher Editor replied 6 years ago.
Yes, you do. If your mother did not have a Will, they will probably assign an Administrator to your case to divide up the property.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
does everything belong to my brother and I ?
Expert:  Teacher Editor replied 6 years ago.

As per stirpes, the first beneficiaries for people without a Will are children. However, this applies after her debts are paid.

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