If something happens to my boyfriend what will happen to our house? 43 Answers as of November 20, 2012

My children and I have recently moved into a new house that my boyfriend bought for us all to share. My name isn't on any paperwork what legal rights do I have if something should happen to him?

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LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG
LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG | Robert I. Long
In California, if the property is held by him with others as joint tenants with right of survivorship, then the surviving tenants receive his interest. Otherwise, his property would go to whomever he leaves it to in a will or, if it has been transferred to a trust, wherever the trust directs it to go after his passing. If he has no will or trust, the property goes to his heirs according to the laws of intestacy.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/20/2012
Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
You have none. The only way you would is if your name was on the deed, too.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/16/2012
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
Unless you marry him , you get your name on the title, or you are in his will you have very limited rights.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 11/15/2012
Paul Nidich, Attorney at law
Paul Nidich, Attorney at law | Paul Nidich
Almost none. Why is the house solely in his name? Has he paid for it with only his money? Have you discussed this with him? Does he have a will? Are you in it? Find out. You may not want to be in that relationship.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 11/14/2012
Bullivant Houser Bailey PC
Bullivant Houser Bailey PC | Darin Christensen
You have no significant legal rights unless you are on title or included in his will.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 11/14/2012
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    You should do a quit claim deed and have you added to the title.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/14/2012
    Lisa L. Hogreve, LC | Lisa L. Hogreve
    In Florida, if your boyfriend died without executing a will, property titled to him would go through probate and descend to his heirs. Unless your boyfriend includes you in his will, or puts your name on the deed with rights of survivorship, you will not have any rights to the property.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/14/2012
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW | Carl C Silver
    The house will go to your boyfriend's heirs. Not you or your children.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/14/2012
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
    In Maryland, the house may pass by operation of law (through the deed), under his will (if he has one), or to his heirs under the intestacy rules (if he does not have a will). As a non-spouse/relative, you may not have any rights to the house if your boyfriend has not set up a way for you to take it after his death.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 11/14/2012
    Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski
    Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski | Gerald A. Bagazinski
    You will not have any legal rights to the house unless you are provided for in your boyfriend's will or trust.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/14/2012
    Asset Protection and Elder Law Center
    Asset Protection and Elder Law Center | Shadi Alai-Shaffer
    Be careful! You have NONE. You need to talk about options for your protection and security. More importantly, he needs a Trust (a Revocable Living Trust and complete estate plan) to direct what happens to the home and his things (and money) if he becomes incapacitated or passes away unexpectedly. More importantly, regarding your question he can direct that you can either have the home or stay living in the home, etc. This is really important for you and your kids. You should also consider having a will and designation of guardians for your children. Please seek legal advice to protect your entire family (he, you and the kids).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/14/2012
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    You have no rights absent being named as the Beneficiary in his Will, assuming no one else is on title. You and he need to have a serious discussion.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 11/14/2012
    Bassinger & Harvey
    Bassinger & Harvey | Randy J Harvey
    You probably have no legal right to the house unless you contributed financially to its purchase, or if some of your children are his biological children. Otherwise, you are just living in his house, and if he passed away it would go to his heirs. This advice is based on the limited facts that you have provided, additional facts may change the advice. We are not providing you legal advice, rather we are responding to your set of facts based on general legal principles. You should not rely on this information without consulting an attorney and providing the attorney with a complete set of facts. We provide a reduced rate initial consultation for $35.00, if you would like a more complete answer. We are not representing you in this or any other matter, unless and until you and we have entered into a written agreement for services.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 11/14/2012
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Your boyfriend can do one the following to protect you: Issue a grant deed from himself to himself and you as joint tenants, or transfer the property into a trust naming you as a beneficiary, or prepare a will naming you as the beneficiary of the will to receive the house. Right now, you are out on a limb which could be cut off voluntarily or involuntarily by death.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/14/2012
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    If your name is not on the house and he has not taken steps to ensure that it passes to you upon his death (e.g. beneficiary deed, will, trust, etc.), then the house would pass to his legal heirs - presumably his children. If they are under age 18 at the time of his death, the court would likely need to appoint a conservator to hold the house until the children are old enough to own the property themselves. I would recommend that your boyfriend consult with an attorney who can help him explore his objectives and the options available to meet those objectives.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 11/14/2012
    Law Offices of Richard K. Jolliffe | Richard K. Jolliffe
    There is none.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/14/2012
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
    If your name is not on the paperwork, you have no rights in the property. Upon his death, the house will got by his Will or to his legal heirs (not to you or your children).
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 11/14/2012
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    Based on the facts you presented, none. Since you are not married, and the house was just purchased, you have no rights. You need to either be on the Deed or in his will as the heir who inherits the house or or in a trust as the beneficiary of the house. As it stands now, he could put anyone else on the Deed or could put anyone in his will or trust and they would take the property. Only if the children are his and he dies without a will, then they have inheritance rights in most states.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/14/2012
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    You likely will be out of luck and forced from the home. You have no legal ownership rights in the house; since you are not married, you can not claim any property from being the spouse. You would have to show that it was a gift to you but since he probably did not show on his tax return the gift and you have nothing to support the theory that it was a gift with no strings attached [such as you remaining with him] you are likely to lose such a claim. The easiest way out is to get married; if he does not want to get married, that indicates to some extent how he views the relationship.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    None. He needs to make a will.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Thompson Ostler & Olsen dba Franchise Business Law Group | Brooke Ashton
    You have no legal rights to the house or any of his property unless he names you as the beneficiary of the home in a will or trust. You should discuss this with him and consult with an attorney regarding this matter.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    You would have no rights at all. The children, if they are his children, might have rights in the property. Upon your boyfriend's death, an interested party can apply to the probate court to 1) handle his estate, and 2) handle the estates of the children. That person would be able to decide what happens. It can make for a very awkward and unfortunate situation, if you do not have a great relationship with his family.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Law Office of Edward M. Burgh, APC | Edward M. Burgh
    It depends on whether he has a will that gives you the house and, if not, whether you can prove that you contributed to bring down the mortgage.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC | Barry D. Broome
    You have NO ownership rights in the home. If your boyfriend dies you will have no rights unless he has a Last Will & Testament.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Whiteford, Taylor, & Preston | Edwin Fee
    If you are not an owner of the house, then you have no rights regarding the house. If your boyfriend is the father of your children, then the children would have rights regarding the house. If he is not the father, then they have no rights regarding the house either. Your boyfriend could create a will leaving the house to you. If he doesn't have a will, then the house would pass according to the intestate statute (to your boyfriend's parents, if living; and if not, then to his siblings, if living; and if not, then to his nieces and nephews, if living, etc.).
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Winnick Ruben Hoffnung Peabody & Mendel, LLC | Daniel N. Hoffnung
    If you are not the beneficiary of the house in his will, you may be out of luck.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Edward L. Armstrong, P.C. | Edward L. Armstrong
    As it stands, you have no definite rights with respect to this house. It would be simple for him to give you rights by having a quitclaim deed prepared retitling the house in his name and yours as joint tenants with right of survivorship. He could, as an alternative, create a living trust and place the title to the house in the trust and make you and your children beneficiaries of the trust. He could have a beneficiary deed prepared and provide that you would own the house (subject to whatever he chooses to do with it prior to his death) on his death or he could have a will prepared and leave the house to you.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Law Office of Matt Potempa, PLLC
    Law Office of Matt Potempa, PLLC | Matt Potempa
    If the house is deeded in his name only, at his death the home would by his heirs. As the owners girlfriend, you would have no legal rights to live in the home if he were to die unless he were to deed you a life estate or make a will granting you some interest in the home. Your boyfriend should consult an experienced estate planning attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A.
    The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A. | Laurie E. Ohall
    If something happens to your boyfriend, and your name is not on the deed to the property with him, at his death, the house will go to his beneficiaries or heirs, depending on whether he has a Will. If he has a Will, and he does not have any minor children of his own, he can leave the house to whomever he wants in his Will. If he does not have a Will at his death, the house will go to his heirs in accordance with Florida Statutes (there is a list of who gets priority as an heir of his estate).
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Dwight Edward Tompkins, Attorney at Law
    Dwight Edward Tompkins, Attorney at Law | Dwight Edward Tompkins
    You really have no rights; as a girlfriend, you are not his heir. If however, you are added to title as a joint tenant, or he designates you in his will or trust as the beneficiary of the ownership of the house, then you would have the legal rights either as a surviving joint tenant, or as the beneficiary of the will or trust.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/13/2012
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    Unless you live in a state that recognizes common law marriage or unless there is some sort of a document (such as a will) transferring the property to you at the time of your boyfriend's death, you have no claim to the house. You may have some claim in a few states if you contribute significantly to the mortgage payments or other household expenses.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 11/12/2012
    The Curran Law Firm
    The Curran Law Firm | Maura Curran
    You have no legal rights under the intestacy laws. Your boyfriend needs to add you to the deed or provide for you in his will. Further, there may be prohibitions to leave his home to you, i.e. if he is married or has minor children.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/12/2012
    Craig Epifanio, P.A.
    Craig Epifanio, P.A. | Craig Epifanio
    You have the right to stay but the landlord could go through the eviction process. You should talk to the landlord to see if your name can be put on the lease.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/12/2012
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks | Terrell Monks
    If you are not the surviving spouse, you have very few rights. If your child(ren) are children of your boyfriend, you are in a better place, legally. If he adds you and the house into his Will, you will have some rights that you can use.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 11/12/2012
    Byers & Goulding, PLC | Andrew Byers
    You have no rights to the home if your name is not on the deed.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/12/2012
    TrustCounsel | Gregory Herman-Giddens
    Without a written agreement, you have no rights. If your boyfriend is willing to sign an agreement, hire a lawyer to prepare it for you. Do not rely on a written that you prepare yourself, as it will likely be insufficient.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 11/12/2012
    Scott Goldstein | Scott Goldstein
    After noon.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/12/2012
    Ben T. Liu Law Office
    Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
    None in Michigan. See if you can get on the title or be in the will or trust.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/12/2012
    The Mills Law Office LLC
    The Mills Law Office LLC | Darren J Mills
    I would suggest that you and boyfriend discuss what you would like to have happen to the house should something unfortunately happen to him and then consult an attorney. Please note that you will both have to waive the conflict of interest that is inherent with an attorney representing both of you. Absent you getting a life estate from your boyfriend (which would likely be a taxable gift by him; not taxable income to you though) you will likely always be at risk of being displaced upon his demise and you would not have the rights of a wife. NJ no longer recognizes common law marriages. He could leave the house to you via a Will but remember, someone can always change their Will which may lead to litigation on your part to try and challenge the Will.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/12/2012
    GOLD & ASSOCIATES, P.C.
    GOLD & ASSOCIATES, P.C. | KENNETH GOLD
    None. I recommend both of you have estate plans which can change that if you wish.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/12/2012
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    You have no rights at this stage. If something were to happen to your boyfriend tomorrow, his next of kin i.e. 1) any children that he may have; 2) if none, his parents if they are living, 3) if no parents then his siblings, 4) if no siblings then his grandparents will inherit the property if no will is left designating who should receive the property.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/12/2012
    Victor Varga | Victor Varga
    None, He either has to have you in his Will as receiving the home, or he needs to add your name to the title as a Joint Tenant. Otherwise, you're not entitled to anything.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 11/12/2012
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