Q: My mother passed away several years ago and my father has recently started living with a woman. It seems unlikely they will marry. If he should pass away, what rights will she have to his home? How will we get her out if she won’t leave?
A: This really isn’t that uncommon of a problem. Older folks often times cohabitate without the formalities of marriage… A common law marriage can occur when a man and woman live together as husband and wife for a certain length of time and, in most cases, present themselves as husband and wife… There are about 10 states that still recognize common law marriages (A common law marriage can still be contracted in the District of Columbia and ten states: Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, and Texas)… However, outside of D.C. and the named 10 states, until the parties actually marry or take an affirmative step in their estate plans, they have limited rights to the other’s property.
For full article see: ESTATE PLANNING: Common law marriages by Christopher W. Yugo is an attorney in Crown Point. Address questions to Yugo in care of The Times, 601 W. 45th Ave., Munster, IN 46321 or to Chrisyugolaw@gmail.com. Yugo’s information is meant to be general in nature. Specific legal, tax, or insurance questions should be referred to your attorney, accountant, or estate-planning specialist.
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