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Ask Sherry: What will happen if your partner dies?

You asked, and I am answering every Friday once I have enough questions!

You can ask any question using the form here.

You bought your condo together with your partner, which is normal, but I was wondering: what will you do in old age in case your partner dies before you?

My partner is older than me by 15 years and considering women tend to outlive their male partners, I have a very VERY high chance that he will go before I will.

Will you sell the condo to give your son his father’s half?

No. I will live in it, and my son will own the other half. The inheritance from his father will be his, no questions asked, but I doubt my son will ask me to move out so he can have his half of the money.

Besides, he will have liquid assets from his father’s estate (savings and so on) whatever is left, so that may be enough.

I am hoping he will be money-savvy enough to not need the money so desperately and/or I will have enough money to give him what he needs if he truly needs it as an emergency.

Will you buy another place for yourself and move there? Or what else?

No. I like where I am. I plan on dying here unless plans change. I like the location, I like that it is a condo and I won’t have to climb stairs, I have underground parking…

I was thinking about that because most of us have bought our house together with our partner and inheritance laws differ per state or country. So I was wondering what you would do.

Well my son would get his father’s assets. We don’t have debts, and maybe my partner has a clause in there that my son gets it but I am the trustee.

If I die, he gets my assets and I put my partner as the trustee.

I am really not concerned about this because I have my own money and IF I need to sell the place and move out, I will, but it is very unlikely that this will happen. The place is paid, so I just have to cover the condo fees and maintenance, which will be less than rent.

My son out of his father’s estate will have to cover those fees in half with me, or I can cover them 100%. I don’t really mind either way, all the money will be my son’s ultimately, in the end.

You have quite a collection of pretty belts, but I hardly see them in your shopping posts. How did you find them?

My belts are from years and years ago.

They are old, and the only recent belt I have bought in memory is the Isabel Marant Leece belt which you can DIY yourself if you find the right leather, the right length, and have the tools to make slits, and cuts in the leather.

No wait, I lied. I also bought two belts from MM Lafleur last year:

And this one:

If you have a specific pretty belt, let me know! I’ll help you track it down if I can.

Otherwise, in general, I get them from Banana Republic, Etsy (obi belts from Feather & Bean who is incredible at mixing patterns), from Anthropologie (like this one I am loving via Brave Belts)… and in general, wherever I see cool belts.

I don’t have a specific spot, I just kind of keep an eye out… and then if I see something very interesting that could help enhance my outfits, I jump on it.

Other belts I am afraid, are custom-made and one of a kind.

My mother was a real clotheshorse when she was younger, and I stole all the tailored, custom belts from her bespoke dresses because they are the only things I can actually wear from her closet back then (she was 2 sizes smaller than I am today).

Still have a burning question?

You can ask any question using the form here and all of my previous Ask Sherry posts are here.


  • Jodie

    I would advise everyone to have a will, specifying how you want your assets distributed when you pass away. My husband and I had a will but it was 20 years old and estate laws had changed. He passed away unexpectedly about a year ago. As I live in a state with marital property laws, all the personal property automatically passed to me but we are business owners and for the past year I have been working with an attorney as my husband’s shares of the business went through probate. It is now all in my name but it was an unnecessary and expensive hassle. A good will or trust will save you these headaches and expense.

    Also, I would advise having a liquid fund in your name that you can tap into in the event of the unexpected passing of your partner in case your cash gets tied up in probate.

  • SarahN

    IN Australia the inheritance would go from your partner to you, even though you’re not married as you live together, therefore de facto (effectively married). Only when both parents die do the kids get it.

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