Ifmy common-law spouse passed away 5 months ago, what do I need to do?

UPDATED: May 29, 2019

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Ifmy common-law spouse passed away 5 months ago, what do I need to do?

We were common law married for over 20 years but he did not have a Will. He owned the home we lived in which is solely in his name. We have joint ownership of one vehicle and we have a joint checking account. He does not have any other property or assets. We have 2 grown daughters, 28 and 23. How do I proceed from here?

Asked on May 29, 2019 under Estate Planning, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First, please accept our sympathy for your and your daughters' loss.
If the only assets you have are a jointly titled (in both your names) vehicle and a joint checking account, there is nothing you need to do: joint assets like those automatically become solely yours as the surving joint owner as soon as the other joint owner passed away. Nothing must be done to transfer ownership of them.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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