Common Questions

My common-law partner died. What legal issues do I need to know about?

In general, the law treats common-law relationships very similarly to marriage relationships. However, there are some key differences, especially when it comes to limitation periods, the deadlines for making certain legal claims. Also, although being in a common-law relationship means that you and your partner qualify as spouses under many laws, “spouse” is defined differently by different laws. This difference may affect your rights and eligibility for certain benefits.

Good starting points include:

See our related common questions:

Last reviewed December 2016
common-law relationship, death of a loved one, unmarried spouses, right of survivorship