What rights would a domestic partner have to estate property? 11 Answers as of August 31, 2015

I have a partner of 6 years who lives with me in my home. About 3 years ago, I learned he had poor credit and liens on his property. Since that time he has paid off 2 liens, and I added him to my credit, in hopes to rebuild his finances. It was successful. His property is commercial, mine is residential. He gets rental income from his property and together we maintain the property, taxes, my home, SUV, utilities, groceries etc. We share the obligations 50/50. I also have him insured thru my company with Medical/Dental and had to fill out a "domestic partner" form for him to have insurance. Now, he doesn’t seem to have an interest in marriage. That’s ok, however I am older and have an out dated will and have one son. I have a life insurance policy for my partner and I will make some concessions for him in the will also. However, here is my question on a "domestic partner level" can he come back and change things or ask to file a claim on to my property or anything that I bequeath to a family member?

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Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
There is no "domestic partner level" in the state of Florida. Contact an attorney that specializes in Family law to answer your questions properly.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/31/2015
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
Most states do not recognize a "domestic partner" as someone legally legally entitled to another's estate. However, if he has paid any significant amount of the mortgage of any of your properties or similar expenses, he may have some claim, but no more than what he contributed. An up-to-date is the best way to make sure your estate is distributed as you desire.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 8/31/2015
James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
Right now the answer is probably not; but it is uncertain. Every case comes down to the specific facts and circumstances. By far, the best thing is to bite the bullet and write down your understanding of your financial relationship and have a trust and good estate planning documents for yourself.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 8/28/2015
Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
While he is not entitled to inherit anything, he may claim that some of the property was his private property [your son is not going to know who paid for what] and that he helped pay for other items so is entitled to get back at least what he put in. He might also claim that you promised to take care of him until he died [like the Lee Marvin case]. You need to make a detailed list of who paid how much for what that had a purchase price of what; give your son a copy and update it. Your Will also needs to be specific as to what you are leaving to your son. There often is a lot of fighting among those who feel they are entitled to some thing when a relative, partner, etc. dies.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/28/2015
Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
Palimony is not recognized in Illinois. If you and your partner have not entered into a civil union and have not married then your partner will not have a recognized status in an estate proceeding. Your partner's only rights to your estate would be as a legatee under a will, beneficiary under a trust, or designated beneficiary under a financial asset or life insurance policy. The partner may have a claim to personal property in your common residence if the property were purchased during your time sharing a common home. As a partner he could not even file a custodial claim against the estate if he were to dedicate his time to your care in the last years of your life.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 8/28/2015
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    Generally, domestic partners have no rights to property after one dies.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/27/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Very doubtful but you should see an attorney, update your will and seek some counsel. Domestic partners generally have no specific property or inheritance rights unless by title or will.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/27/2015
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    Are you a registered domestic partnership or not. Regardless you should meet with an attorney to establish updated powers of attorney, address your issues and consider using a revocable trust. Why take chances. This is opinion is solely based upon the facts presented in the inquiry. Additional facts may be important and may change the analysis. If you are uncertain, seek legal counsel. We are not your attorneys. This answer is being offered to assist you in determining if you need to retain legal counsel to assist you, not to resolve your issue through an email inquiry.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/27/2015
    Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
    A will would help. You can be very specific as to who gets what. Since the two of you are not married, your assets are yours and vice versa, and that won't change unless you transfer title. What you may want to consider is leaving your home to your son, but grant to your DP the right to live there following your death. Talk to a lawyer about this.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/27/2015
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
    In Maryland, domestic partners who meet certain criteria can receive favorable tax treatment (inheritance tax break) on inheriting a personal residence, but otherwise are treated like non-spouses and non-relatives so would not have the ability to elect against the will for a spousal share.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 8/27/2015
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    Unmarried opposite sex partners absolutely have to have good, complete estate planning done. Absolutely. For starters, if you become sick he may not be able to help with your health care, or even visit you if you're in the ICU. Then, aside from assets you hold jointly, and any beneficiary designations you may make, he will have no rights in your estate. A spouse has rights; an unmarried domestic partner does not. See a good estate planning lawyer and get a new will done that gives your partner such rights as you want him to have.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/27/2015
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