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socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 39151
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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Hi! My name isXXXXX fiancee died unexpectedly on Friday

Customer Question

Hi! My name isXXXXX fiancee died unexpectedly on Friday in a motorcycle accident. We have been together for 11 yrs and we have a 2 yrs old daughter together. He owned his own business, but my name was not on his business for tax reasons. However, he did put my name on the alarm company and they would call me in case of an emergency. Now his family, who he did not really talk to, are now coming to try and claim his belongings at his business. He kept his boat and truck at his business. Do I have any legal rights to anything on the property?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 years ago.

My sincerest condolences on your loss.


Your daughter, in the absence of a Will or Trust instrument made out by her father, is the sole heir of her father's estate, and you, as her legal guardian, could go immediately to the probate court and ask to be appointed the personal administrator of your fiance's estate, for the benefit of your daughter (Probate Code sec. 8464).


If you do not do this, then I can practically guarantee that one of your fiance's other relatives will, and they may attempt to circumvent your daughter's rights to the estate.


So find yourself a local probate attorney, and get going. For a referral, see:


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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
He also has a 9 and 13 yrs old by another woman and his Mother recently moved in with her.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 years ago.

Then, it may be a "race to the courthouse." The court will want to hear from everyone involved. Without a lawyer, you will be outgunned in those hearings. The court may end up appointing a neutral third party to oversee the estate so as to avoid further conflict, unless you and the other woman can come to an agreement -- perhaps to act as co-administrators, for the benefit of your respective children. A third-party administrator will be paid out of the estate, which would mean the loss of thousands of dollars that could otherwise have gone to your children. So, you may want to give that other woman a courtesy call and invite her to coffee, because you will need some diplomatic skills.


When someone passes, things very quickly become "all about money," despite everyone's emotional pain. The person who is appointed administrator holds "all the marbles."