Getting Your Inheritance - Not Married

Posted by Winifred "Wini" Cannon | Mar 31, 2021 | 0 Comments


Getting Your Inheritance if Your Loved One Never Married You

This question comes up a lot because sometimes people have held themselves out as being married. They live together but when it comes time when one of the people in the relationship departs his or her life and there's no will then there is a concern as to this loved one, who's supported the deceased being left out. And maybe mother, father, sisters or brothers will come forth and they will share proportionately the assets of this person that you held out to be your spouse.

What's the Best Way to Avoid These Circumstances?

The best way is for you and your spouse to have a will and make sure that you all are included. Now you can't dictate to your spouse. They can name you and you certainly can name your loved one in your will so that he or she doesn't have to go through this debacle. And hopefully the one you married will do the same thing for you. So if there's a will in place then there's no question about that.

What if Your Loved One Didn't Have a Will?

Say life gets busy and we as mortals sometimes think that we live for eternity and that we'll get around to getting married or writing a will. But sometimes death has a way of coming to the young, the old, the middle aged and you don't have your house in order.

A “Common” Solution

But you don't have to despair because if there isn't a will and you didn't get married by a civil service or religious service, you still can petition the court to recognize your common law marriage, because Texas is a common law state and it doesn't have any criteria as to how long you're living together. It's just a need to show that you held yourself out as husband and wife, maybe you cosigned for a loan, or maybe you're on a mortgage together, et cetera.

But you would file in the probate court and you would basically have the probate court to determine whether you are an heir based upon your common law marriage. So you don't have to be left out. I hope this tip helps you to recognize how you could get your inheritance when you are not married under a civil or religious service, but by common law.

About the Author

Winifred "Wini" Cannon

Winifred “Wini” Cannon knows how business owners may be impacted when retirement, incapacity, or death occurs without a good plan in place. One example that is very common is in the instance where one partner dies leaving the other trying to stay in business complicated by the...


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