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What are my rights as my girlfriend of 12 years died and there is no will

This legal question related to general practice attorneys in Idaho has been answered.

Location: Idaho  |  Law type: general practice attorneys

My girlfriend of 12 years lived her house and we together remodeled it. She passed away and her children are trying to claim everything to be theirs. 

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1 month ago, general practice attorneys, Philadelphia

Legal Solution

The response provided below is specific to general practice attorneys in the jurisdiction of Idaho. The previous inquiry was brief, complicating a thorough response.

Rights and Claims After Unwilled Death of Long-term Partner in Idaho

In a long-standing relationship, where you've cohabited and contributed towards shared assets such as property, it's essential to understand your rights, especially when your partner has no will in place. The complexities of intestate succession laws, combined with personal contributions towards assets, makes this a delicate legal issue that often requires personalized guidance.

Relevant Idaho Laws on Intestate Succession

Potential Solutions to The Problem

When a partner dies without a will in Idaho, assets are typically distributed according to the state's intestate succession laws. The surviving partner, especially in non-marital relationships, may not have automatic rights to shared assets. However, there are certain paths you can consider:

  1. Property Agreement Verification: If there were any verbal or written agreements about the ownership of the house or the reimbursement of remodeling expenses, gather evidence. This could include bank statements, checks, or any written communication.
  2. Equitable Claims: Even without a will, you might be able to make a claim based on the equity you've contributed to the property, especially if you've made significant financial or labor investments.
  3. Mediation: Consider hiring arbitration and mediation attorneys to help you and the heirs reach an amicable agreement regarding the property.
  4. Formal Legal Action: If all else fails, you may need to consult with probate lawyers and possibly take the matter to court.

Approximate Legal Costs in Idaho

Service Description Average Cost in Idaho ($)
Consultation with probate lawyer 250 - 500
Property Ownership Mediation 1,200 - 3,500
Property Equity Claim Filing 2,000 - 4,500
Full Legal Representation in Probate Court 5,000 - 12,000

Note: These prices are approximate, and actual costs can vary based on the complexity of the case and the lawyer's hourly rate. Idaho doesn't have specific limitations on legal fees, but they must be "reasonable" per the state's professional conduct guidelines.

Further Clarification and Action

For a comprehensive understanding of your rights and to find the best way forward, it would be crucial to discuss your situation with a qualified attorney in Idaho. Remember, each case is unique, and only by consulting with a legal professional can you get tailored advice. Ready to take the next step? Find the right lawyer for your needs today!

Relevant Questions to Consider

  • Were there any written or verbal agreements regarding the ownership of the house or financial contributions?
  • Can you provide evidence of your financial or labor contributions to the property?
  • Are there other assets or liabilities of the deceased that you might have a claim to, or be responsible for?

Frequently Asked Questions in Similar Situations:

What happens when someone dies without a will in Idaho?

When a person dies without a will in Idaho, their assets are distributed according to the state's intestate succession laws, typically favoring close family members like spouses and children.

Can a non-married partner inherit property in Idaho?

Unless there's a will specifying otherwise, non-married partners generally do not automatically inherit property in Idaho. However, they can make claims based on contributions or agreements.

How are debts of the deceased handled in Idaho?

Debts of the deceased are typically paid out from the estate before any distribution to heirs. If the estate cannot cover the debts, the heirs are not usually responsible unless they co-signed on the debt.

Is there a time limit to challenge the distribution of assets?

Yes, there are specific time frames within which claims or challenges must be made concerning the distribution of a deceased person's assets. Consulting with a lawyer will help identify these windows of opportunity.

Can mediation help in disputes over intestate assets?

Yes, mediation can often help parties come to an amicable agreement without the need for protracted court battles. Hiring a skilled mediator can facilitate these discussions.

Remember, while this information provides a general overview, it's always best to consult with a legal professional to understand your unique situation and rights.


This content is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. It's always recommended to consult with a local attorney about your specific situation.

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