What is unmarried partner's rights to deceased partner's estate?


In Florida, there is no common law marriage. Therefore, simply living with someone will not give your rights to his or her estate.


Attorney Tom Olsen: Gerald, you are on News 96.5, go ahead.

Gerald: I have a friend of mine who died recently. Now her significant other-- Two of them have been together for 30 years although they've never been married of course. The significant other is wondering what her status is now since the other one has died.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Okay. They were never married therefore the surviving partner will have no rights to the estate unless the deceased partner had a will leaving it all to the surviving partner. Now that would apply to any assets that were in the deceased partner's name only. If there were assets that the two of them owned jointly, like bank accounts for example, those bank accounts would belong to the survivor. Gerald, the fact that they've been together for 30 years from a legal perspective is not going to make any difference at all.

Gerald: I was wondering that. I know it's different down here. I know in Indiana after eight years even with the two partners, in fact, is considered common-law marriage.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Well that may be true in Indiana. There is no common law and Florida, Gerald.

Gerald: So that I was wondering so why called to find out.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Okay, Gerald. Thank you for calling. We appreciate it.