When you create your estate plan you must consider your family relationships. Married couples, for example, automatically receive the right to inherit a part of their spouse’s estate. But what about common-law couples? Do they have the same inheritance rights?
When it comes to common-law marriages, there are many myths and misconceptions out there. Let’s take a look at what a common-law marriage is and how it can impact your estate plan.
Common-Law Requirements: To be married through common-law, you must get married in a state that recognizes common-law marriages. There are only 9 of these, and Florida is not one of them. If you live in a common-law state, you can become married if you met all the legal requirements. To be married through common-law you must be of legal age, live together, agree to enter into marriage, and make it known to the public that you are husband and wife.
Spousal Rights: A couple married through common-law is a married couple in every sense of the word. This means that spouses have the right to inherit from one another when the other spouse dies. However, simply calling yourself a common-law couple is not sufficient. If you believe you have been married through common-law you will have to prove it to a court in order to receive an inheritance. If you have a question about common-law marriage or how it can affect your estate plan, you should contact us right away.