Houston, TX asked in Family Law for Texas

Q: What should a woman do if her common law husband dies and the home belongs to siblings including the common law husband

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1 Lawyer Answer
Teri A. Walter
Teri A. Walter
  • Houston, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: You have three issues that need to be decided in order to answer this question.

1. Who actually has title to the property? Often, when I hear that multiple siblings are the owners, the property belonged to one or more parents, who died and there was no probate proceeding. All of that has to be resolved to determine who has what rights to the property.

2. Can you prove a common law marriage? Common law marriage requires showing not only living together, but also an agreement to be married, and "holding out" - that is, representing to others that you are married. Often this can be shown by tax returns or insurance documents.

3. Assuming that your deceased husband had rights to the property, and that you can prove a common law marriage, the next issue is whether your husband had a will. If so, the property passes under the will, subject to your homestead rights. If not, the will passes by intestate succession.

I suggest you contact a probate or family law attorney to start.

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