It’s very important that non-married persons, either same-sex or opposite-sex couples, do basic estate planning!

Here is a question recently posed by someone who was promised the world but left with nothing, along with my answer:

non-married gay couple inheritance rightsQuestion:

If I share a home with my partner for over 20 years, and helped pay for upkeep and expenses, am I entitled to the property when he dies? We live in California and never married, but he told me, friends, and family that he was leaving me the house. We moved in together when it was new over 20 years ago. He never changed the will and it went to his two kids, but I’m still living in it, paying the taxes, the HOI, all repairs and expenses.

Answer:

You might be able to come to an agreement with the kids, however you are not *entitled* to the property if you were not either (1) on title, (2) designated to receive it in the will, (2) married to your partner, or (3) in a registered domestic partnership. ┬áThe best you can argue for is a refund of your contribution to the property, but it would be a hard sell – contact a local probate attorney with the facts and ask for a consultation.