Common-Law Spouse


Nicole Pearl warned that legal battles over the dispositions of poorly documented estates from common law spouses (whether opposite- or same-sex) “are awful for both sides. All the money ends up going to lawyers, it’s psychologically trying for all involved and inevitably the deceased’s wishes are not carried out.” Ms. Pearl noted that although few states recognize common law marriage, “If you moved, but had lived in a [recognizing] state for a long time and have children still living there, that would be a strong case” for legal approval of an estate’s disposition. Read the full article