Question about common law marriage and inheritance


#1

Ok here is the situation. My brother and I recently lost our mother and we are concerned about an old boyfriend. Here’s the complex situation in a nutshell. Forgive me if I give too much detail but I wanted to try to be thorough.

My mother was living with a man for many years, probably close to 20 but they never married. He had a stroke some time around 2004 and she took care of him. He was very dependent and at some point after his truck was wrecked he went to buy a new one and he wanted to give it to her. He bought it directly for her. He didn’t buy it and then transfer it if that makes a difference.
However last year my mother had a re visitation of breast cancer she had some years ago. She became so ill that approximately last august the family with her consent arranged for him to move in with his sister. She is the very greedy type and from what I have heard has already gotten him to sign everything he has to her and she see’s the truck as the last thing she can get her hands on. The truck and house are in probate so nobody can really touch them right now but she has already come to my house to try and get it. She mentioned common law marriage and will probably try to say that he wasn’t mentally competent to give her the gift.

What we expect to happen is the truck will probably be sold under probate to take care of some bills although me and my brother might be able to handle these bills in order to save the truck. If she sues under the grounds of common law marriage can she get the Mobile home (In probate), Property (She signed the land into our names soon after he moved out because that was what she most treasured of her possessions and wanted to protect that the most), and the truck?

I should also mention that she told him she would will the truck back to him when she died but she didn’t leave a will and she changed her mind near the end anyway because of the way he had treated her (Threatening calls, verbal abuse, ect. He became very bitter about having to move in with his sister even though there was nothing else she could do) I know this is a lot of detail but I’ve had so much to deal with that I was hoping to at least get a little piece of mind from the legal stuff. Any help would be appreciated.


#2

North Carolina does not recognize common law marriage and your mother’s boyfriend is not entitled to any property as a result of his relationship with her. If however she willed any property to him, he will be able to receive under the will as would any other beneficiary. As for the truck if this man bought it for your mother and it was tilted to her, it is hers plain and simple. Promises to change a will that remains unchanged are not effective to bequeath property.