Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

MSU Extension Office: Common Law Marriage Estate Planning

This is one of a series of articles focusing on estate and legacy planning. The authors are Kaleena Miller, Madison-Jefferson County Extension Agent,, and Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension Family Economics Specialist,

John and Mary, an unmarried couple, lived together for 15 years prior to John’s death. They never obtained a marriage license or had a wedding. John had two children from a previous marriage while Mary had no children. They did not have any children together. All property was in John’s name only when he died without a written w...


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