It’s a good thing that we ask people having trouble with their houses to call us, because we learn about a lot of things that can get people in unfortunate situations. Here’s something that’s come up recently, but we’ve run into more than once.

A potential client phoned up and said that their partner had passed away, and because the will had not been updated in many years and the two of them were not married, the house went to the partner’s family, not them.

This kind of thing can easily happen today, when many people live with long-term partners to whom they are not married. In some states, common-law marriage laws can help protect the surviving spouse, but there are certain things you have to do to prove that status. If you haven’t got the necessary papers, paid bills, or other requirements (they vary, so we can’t be specific), you need to figure out another tactic.

What to Do?

First, if you think you may potentially be in this situation, think about getting wills as soon as possible. It’s worth the investment.

Otherwise, see if you can purchase the house back from the heirs. If you have a good relationship and good credit, that might be easy. Or, perhaps you can put a lien on the property to cover your own investments in the property. The main thing to remember is that you DO have options!

We’re not lawyers, so we can’t provide legal advice, so in this case we can advise you to talk to a family practice lawyer, who can look at your specific case and give you good suggestions for protecting yourself and letting you keep a home you’ve been living in, contributing to, and creating memories in.

Call us at 512-807-8777 and we can help you get moving in the right direction.