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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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I have a cousin in her 80's who is terminally ill and has lived

Customer Question

I have a cousin in her 80's who is terminally ill and has lived with her "partner" for over 40 years. The cousin owns two small houses and other relatives are hovering around waiting for her to die in order to inherit the properties. If they get married, will that keep the vultures at bay? It would be a same sex marriage and the cousin is not able to travel, so are there provisions for her to be able to get a license from a representative from the county clerk's office making a house call? Thanks!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry to learn of your cousin's condition.A marriage will not necessarily transfer the ownership of his income properties to his spouse (if he were to die "intestate" (without a will or trust) his property will transfer via intestate succession, in which case his property will go partially to his spouse, and then to his remaining heirs - see generally: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/intestate-succession-new-mexico.html).However, your cousin can transfer the properties to his partner even without a marriage via a will or trust, or simply via a "grant deed" which transfers the way in which the property is held (one way you can jointly hold property with another person is "joint tenants with right of survivorship" which means that when one co-owner dies, the other co-owner immediately becomes the sole owner of the property).I would encourage your cousin to speak with a trusts and estates attorney as transfers of wealth (particularly when the grantor is in the terminal stage of illness) can be attacked for undue influence after the person dies, and having a lawyer prepare the documents for the individual can help guard against this (as well as ensure that it is done properly and in the most tax advantageous way for all involved).