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Old 12-05-2015, 13:57   #31
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Re: My fiance died, who owns the boat?

You definitely need the advice of a lawyer--and not necessarily an estate lawyer. The issues are NOT simple.


IMHO the basic and essentially first question that must be answered is what, if any, property interest did your fiancée have in the boat.


The second question then is what happens to that interest on his death.


The first question can involve questions as to personalty (personal property rather than real property/real estate for which the rules are very different) and/or admiralty law. It will also include the question as to what is the extent of your fiancée's interest (and therefore his estate's interest) in the boat bearing in mind that he made no financial contribution to its purchase.


There is also the possibility that a court may determine that your fiancée's interest in the boat was held by him pursuant to a resulting trust (google it) whereby whatever interest he (and thus his estate) had in the boat is determined to have been held in trust for you and thus do not form part of his estate (ie. all yours)


After your lawyer has identified the nature and extent of the interest of your deceased fiancée (and thus his estate) in the boat then the second question needs to be asked is what effect does his death have on that interest ---is it extinguished? is it a joint tenancy interest which passes by survivorship? does it form part of his estate?


The answer to the second question will likely depend upon the answer to the first question and will vary depending on whether your fiancée's interest was an interest in personalty, or an interest under admiralty law, or whatever and whether his interest was absolute and separate, a joint tenancy interest, a tenancy in common interest etc


If your fiancée has, in law, an interest in the boat which is not extinguished or does not pass by survivorship then that interest will pass to his estate and will likely be administered (dealt with) under the laws of intestacy (administration of an estate without a will) of the applicable jurisdiction which probably do not provide much leeway in dealing with it.


You need the advice of a lawyer --he will want to know all the facts surrounding the boat, its purchase, its insurance, any other payments made (and by whom) in connection with the boat (eg: moorage), its registration, other property bought or held by you and your fiancée etc


Finally if you delay unduly in seeking the help of a lawyer then your claim may be prejudiced by such delay


So you need to GET A LAWYER!!!
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Old 12-05-2015, 14:13   #32
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Re: My fiance died, who owns the boat?

If joint owners on the title you may have a case. However, here in the US, without right of survivorship, the estate would likely get half.
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Old 12-05-2015, 14:45   #33
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Re: My fiance died, who owns the boat?

Note that in the UK there is a difference between each of you having 32 of the 64 shares, and both of you jointly owning all 64 shares.

In the first case you own half the boat, the other half goes to his estate.
In the second case I think you may own the whole boat.

In France a similiar set up exists. It is called "En Tontine". It means that if one of your dies, the other owns 100% of the object (usually real estate, but can be applied to other things) and it does not enter into the estate of the deceased.
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Old 12-05-2015, 14:47   #34
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Re: My fiance died, who owns the boat?

It's largely going to depend on how the boat is titled. Look up the difference between "Joint Tenants" and "Tenants in Common". If the title says you are Joint Tenants, then his share passes to you as the surviving tenant. If the title says Tenants in Common, then his share passes to his heirs/estate and will be distributed according to his will and/or applicable law.
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Old 12-05-2015, 15:03   #35
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Re: My fiance died, who owns the boat?

The answer to this question is in the bill of sale and the magic word is " joint ". You want to see yourself described as " joint owner " of the whole boat. In that case the whole boat is yours and the other beneficiaries can please themselves.

If you are noted as owner of 32 shares or half owner then you only own half the boat and will have to buy out the estate. Because there was no will the estate will be managed by some civil servant who will know all the rules rather than an executor. You will share in the estate according to a formula which allocates percentages to spouse, children, parents, brothers or whoever there might be. Depending on the family setup, your share of the estate assets generally could be zero.

Maybe the family will hate boats and tell you to keep it.
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Old 12-05-2015, 15:08   #36
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pirate Re: My fiance died, who owns the boat?

The boat was not registered anywhere.. including SSR (which is NOT proof of ownership) and you can produce evidence the the Deposit and \blanace was paid by you.. Its Yours...
No Case.. in the UK.. USA being addicted to Psyc's and Briefs may think differently.. they're more complex than us simple souls..
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Old 12-05-2015, 15:36   #37
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Re: My fiance died, who owns the boat?

Go Boaty! Get the boat for her and run!
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Old 12-05-2015, 15:52   #38
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Re: My fiance died, who owns the boat?

First: I'm very sorry for your loss, my deepest condolences!

Second: I have no idea how UK law works. An attorney is what you need. My gut instinct tells me that since you have a bill of sale for it and you paid for all of it, it actually was all yours to begin with, unless there is some document that has his name on it also. That's just how I see it, no correlation to UK law.
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Old 12-05-2015, 15:53   #39
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Re: My fiance died, who owns the boat?

Another thought. You are on the title I would assume (whatever that is in the UK) with the deceased. I'm thinking they cannot keep you from using something you own. you have as much right to it as the deceased's family does. If they ever ask about it, offer them a minimal amount for his half or just tell them go ahead and sell his half. Good luck selling his half!
I guess maybe what I'm saying is... doing nothing at all might be the best approach right now.
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Old 12-05-2015, 16:19   #40
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Re: My fiance died, who owns the boat?

Sorry for your loss Sue.
I know you asked for legal advice on who owns the boat and there's been lots of it above. I know you didn't ask for moral advice, but I'm curious as to who actually owns the boat in your view? Did you both put equal time and money into the purchase and upgrades? You mention the payments came from your bank account. Was that your own money or did your fiancée transfer funds to your account for the purchase?
I think you could sit down with a pen and paper and roughly calculate what you think is fair for all concerned and discuss with any other interested parties without having to resort to legalities.
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Old 12-05-2015, 17:06   #41
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Re: My fiance died, who owns the boat?

Or you could see TWO lawyers!

The first with all the paperwork. The second without any inconvenient paperwork (eg if the bill of sale is not helpful) and use him to communicate to anyone claiming your boat. The step inbetween is buying a dog which likes paperwork......
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Old 12-05-2015, 17:15   #42
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Re: My fiance died, who owns the boat?

So sorry for your loss. Everything has been said. I don't think it is stealing to take your half of the boat where you think your soul mate would want you to take it and then register it in your name. I'm not in anyway attached to the legal profession and stay away from them as much as possible except if they sail well.
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Old 12-05-2015, 17:49   #43
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Re: My fiance died, who owns the boat?

Unless things have changed in the UK, SueM doesn't need a lawyer she needs a solicitor. One who would know about property laws, intestate estates, and whether the UK has any situations which might apply under common-law marriage, as some but not all US states do.


Find an expert (unless his/her consulting fee far exceeds the price of the boat) and let them take this piece of the burden off your shoulders. SOMEONE will be placed in charge of your fiancé's assets, and regardless of the other details, they may find some wisdom in simply selling, or giving, the "other" share of the boat to you, rather than trying to litigate it or bother with trying to sell a used boat with someone else (SueM) claiming to also own it.


A solicitor.
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Old 12-05-2015, 20:49   #44
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Re: My fiance died, who owns the boat?

Please accept my condolences. I would suggest a lawyer, the laws of intestate succession will apply. The US is an English Common Law country and in most states it will go to next of kin of your fiancé if on the title, flagging document or whatever is used in the UK. Your bill of sale may be useful in your case but all it really shows is who paid for the boat. In and of itself it may not be a title document. Sorry.
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Old 12-05-2015, 21:20   #45
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Re: My fiance died, who owns the boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Unless things have changed in the UK, SueM doesn't need a lawyer she needs a solicitor.
Solicitors and barristers are varieties of lawyer.
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