lived with unmarried partner, David, for 8 years 8 months(age 53, i'm 52). he passed away very unexpectedly(without a will) about 4 weeks ago. Went to attorney, and was told that california had no common law, and that the house we lived in (bought for us 3 yrs. ago by David's father) would go to his son, even though he promised me it would be mine. After reading http://www.californiatrustestateandprobatelitigation.com/probate-court-litigation/marital-rights-without-marriage----how-nonmarital-partners-may-receive-a-share-of-a-deceased-partner/ it sounds like i do have the right to file a claim. What i want to know is
can i at the very least slow down the process. The son wants to take everything, because he can, knowing that his father wanted me to live here.I'm going to take advice, and seek an attorney experienced in these matters. Will I be required to pay retainer fee of several thousand $$ up front, or what? I really have no idea how I would come up with, say, $5,000 all at once, immediately. I noticed there are certain rules about atty. fees in probate. I'm cautiously optimistic after viewing cases similiar to mine that have won, that with the right attorney, i have a chance of at least staying in my home. And i don't mind it costing thousands. But $20,000 - $30,000!! That's quite a bit for a small estate. Anyway, I have until Monday.