Common law, again

Knot 2

Knot 2Sometimes I feel like a broken record here, but I find it so important to keep going over this point: if you are common law, you have no inheritance rights whatsoever. None.

I am in the process of helping a client work through her mother’s estate. Her mother died late last year, and was in a relationship of more than 20 years’ duration with a man my client considered like a father. However, her mother died without a will, and so he had no right to any share of the estate, which was legally required to be divided between my client and her sister. While they could choose to gift part of their inheritance to him, they had no legal obligation to do so, and he had no legal right to receive anything.

If you are in a common law relationship and there are any assets at all that are not joint, get a will. It can be tragic and devastating if you don’t.