I am very sorry to hear this; the poor gentleman.
Here is the elements required for a common law marriage:
1) an actual and mutual agreement between the parties to be husband and wife; 2) a permanent relationship; 3) an exclusive relationship; 4) cohabitation as man and wife; and 5) the parties to the marriage must hold themselves out publicly as husband and wife.
If the wife died intestate, the common law spouse would be an heir; please see:
As such, the individual would need to hire an attorney to open probate so that the property can be properly disbursed; furthermore, if the home contains property of the gentleman, he can petition the court for an order requesting return of the property, or sue for the replacement value of the property (cause of action: conversion of personal property)
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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.