Is a boyfriend entitled to a dead girlfriend’s possessions?

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Is a boyfriend entitled to a dead girlfriend’s possessions?

My sister died and left a car. It was my sister’s wish that the car her dead husband

bought remain in her family. The guy she lived with after her husband passed away

thinks he should keep the car. The guy is not related to my sister.

Asked on October 16, 2016 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, he has no legal right whatsover to the car, and if he refuses to return it, the personal representative for the estate (the executor or court-appointed administrator) could file charges against him for theft or sue for the car's return (or its monetary value). "Boyfriend" is not a legal relationship--it gives him no rights to any of your sister's belongings. Rather, if there was no will, in your state, under the rules for "intestate succession" (who gets what when there is no will), the car will go your parents (if alive) or to you and any other siblings (if your parents are not alive). However, first the car "belongs" to your sister's estate, before it is distributed to whomever will inherit it; therefore, only the person authorized to act for the estate by the probate court (the personal representative, who is the executor or administrator) can take action in regards to the car.


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