Hi,. Here's my story.
My boyfriend, Tommy had unexpectedly dropped dead of a major heart attack at 38 years old, and with out a Will. Tommy and I had only been together about 3 years but we loved each other dearly. Well Tommy wasn't divorced from his wife yet but hadn't been together for the past 6 years filled the divorce papers out but never filed them so they were legally still married but still all the Tommy's belongings went to their 2 kids. I have no problem with that. Tommy's family to this day hasn't talked to me or anything to me unless its to be rude and childish towards me. They blame my for his death. Well the boys his kids Tj & Nathan came and got all Tommy's things no problem. Well before Tommy and I got together he had gotten 2 dogs for him and the boys and at that time Tj and Nathan lived with Tommy. When Tommy lost his house the kids went and lived with Mom and her boyfriend. Well Tommy worked all the time so it was Me to take care of the house and MY NEW DOGS. Well Nathan, a problem child, is making threats saying he is going to come take his dogs because he wants to hurt me. It's been almost a year since Tommy's passing. I am those dogs SOLE provider.
I am sorry about your ongoing grief.
In Washington, pets are treated as property. In this case, you indicate he got the dogs for himself and the 2 boys, before his relationship with you. If that is the case, the boys have an ownership interest in the dog. Even if not, since he did not have a will, and was still married, his estate would go to his wife and children.
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