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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 116222
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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I was in a Common Law Marriage for 24yrs before my husband

Customer Question

Hi - I was in a Common Law Marriage for 24yrs before my husband die in 2015. I live in Pennsylvania, am I able to collect his social security - also at time of his death my name is ***** ***** death certificate as wife
JA: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Pennsylvania
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Not sure like what are you reference to
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I am still paying back taxes he owed as well
Submitted: 11 days ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 days ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
If you were entered into this common law marriage prior to 2005, then you are in a validly recognized common law marriage and would be considered a common law surviving spouse and would have to file for probate to get your share. Also, upon the court recognizing you as common law spouse you would be recognized by SS and would be paid to you if his benefits are higher than your own benefits.
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Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Can I file a probate online or do I have to go somewhere particular for this
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 days ago.

Thank you for your reply.

You need to file in the local probate court prothonotary's office and you will need a local attorney to file the petition to open probate to prove your common law marriage in the probate. Then after probate you can seek the social security benefits.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

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