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Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8775
Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
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I lived with a man thirty years , HE DIED WITHOUT

Customer Question

I lived with a man for over thirty years , HE DIED WITHOUT MY NAME BEING ON THE DEED TO OUR HOUSE. IS common law marriage legal in Michigan how can I keep the house
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.
Hi - my name is ***** ***** I'm a litigation attorney. Thanks for your question. I'll be glad to assist.
One question - - did he have a will?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
NO
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
IS COMMON LAW MARRIAGE LEGAL IN MICHIGAN I WANT TO GET A REVERSE MORTGAGE
Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the information.
Common law marriage has not been legal in Michigan since 1957....so if you got together after that year, it would not be recognized. Thus, you couldn't use that to claim ownership of the property - - that's why I was asking whether there was a will.
In that case, the only real option you would have would be to claim the property under adverse possession, which requires occupation for at least 15 consecutive years (from the date of his death). Once that time passed, you could claim ownership via adverse possession. However, if he has children that may not be possible if they pursue the matter and try to take possession.
So, if there is no one else trying to take ownership away from you, then you could remain there, continuing paying the mortgage and taxes and eventually have a right to claim ownership.....but it is not fast in any way.
Also, until you claim ownership via adverse possession, you couldn't sell or borrow money on it either - - so the reverse mortgage isn't going to happen until this is resolved either.
Thus, unfortunately, there is no quick fix to the situation. Instead, you're just going to have to wait things out if you were not married, if your name was not on the title and if there is no will.