Q: I lived with my boyfriend for 7 years. He died in a work accident. He had no will or beneficiary listed on any assets or
Insurance policies. He always said I would be taken care of if he died. No where am I listed as a beneficiary to his investment accounts, house, bank accounts, etc. He leaves behind 2 sisters he had no contact with for over 20 years. Do I have any standing to sue his estate? Numerous friends and coworkers knew of his desire to provide for me in the event of his passing. Many are willing to testify to this.
A: I am so sorry for your loss and even more sorry to be the bearer of bad news, which is that no amount of testimony will fix a failed or missing estate plan. If your boyfriend died with no surviving spouse or parents or children and no written estate plan and no designated death beneficiaries, then state law determines who inherits and girlfriends are never in line to inherit. Most likely his siblings will inherit everything he owns. It is a dreadful result but it is the result of his failure to plan. Everyone age 18 and older needs an estate plan because nobody knows when they will be called away from this mortal existence.
Howard E. Kane agrees with this answer
A: I'm sorry about your loss and the lack of an estate plan. I too must be the bearer of bad news. I have personal experience representing estranged siblings in probate court who end up inheriting even though their deceased sibling "promised" to take care of non-family members who end up inheriting nothing. There are situations however where siblings decide to cut the life-long girlfriend in on the inheritance because their deceased sibling gave a verbal directive and the siblings decide to honor it. Best of luck with this.
In California, if a person dies without a will, their assets will be distributed according to the state's intestacy laws. Under these laws, the decedent's assets will generally be distributed to their closest living relatives, such as their spouse, children, or parents.
If you were not listed as a beneficiary on your boyfriend's assets, you may not have any legal right to inherit them under the intestacy laws. However, you may have some legal options depending on the specific circumstances of your case.
One option would be to bring a claim against your boyfriend's estate, arguing that you were promised a share of his assets and that he intended for you to be provided for in the event of his death. To do this, you would need to provide evidence that your boyfriend made these promises to you and that he intended to fulfill them.
You may also want to consult with an attorney who specializes in probate law to discuss your options. An attorney can help you determine whether you have any legal standing to sue the estate and can advise you on the best course of action based on the facts of your case.
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