When you die, your will dictates which survivor gets what part of your probate estate. But what happens when you die without having prepared a will in any form? State laws take over to prevent any disputes.
If your loved one didn’t leave a will, understanding these Texas intestate succession laws will let you know what to expect. And if you don’t know where to start or whether the deceased left a will at all, consider consulting a local estate attorney to get professional legal guidance.
What Can I Inherit if There’s No Will?
Under Texas intestate succession laws, what you receive depends on your relationship with the deceased.
A surviving spouse can inherit everything if there are no children, parents, or siblings alive.
In the case of a spouse and their biological children with the deceased, the former gets your entire community property, a third of your separate property, and lifetime rights to use your real estate. The children then inherit everything else.
If the children are not the spouse’s, then the spouse gets a share similar to the latter case, but only half of the decedent’s community property this time. The children inherit the other half and everything else.
Another possibility is when there’s a spouse and the decedent’s parents but no children. Here, the spouse inherits all the community and separate property, as well as half of your separate real estate, while the parents receive the rest property. This also applies in the case of a spouse and siblings only.
Children can inherit everything in cases of no spouse. Children conceived before but born after your death, those placed for adoption, and adopted children are entitled to receive a share, as well.
Other Persons Who Can Inherit Under Texas Intestate Succession Laws
There are additional parties that may be eligible to inherit in cases where no will is in place. A wills lawyer can help break this down for you in additional detail.
Parents – A deceased’s parents can inherit everything if there are no children, spouse, or siblings. In the case of a parent and siblings only, the former gets half of your separate property while the siblings divide the other half amongst themselves.
Siblings – Siblings may also inherit everything if there’s no surviving spouse, children, or parents.
Grandchildren – The only way grandchildren can inherit property under intestate succession laws is if their parent is dead, under a concept known as per stirpes.
Getting in Touch with a Probate Attorney in Texas
It’s normal; the confusion and disorientation that comes with losing a loved one can cloud your mind and make emotions run high. Things can be additionally complicated when you learn that the deceased did not leave a will or trust to share their intentions for their property.
Get the legal support of a Texas probate attorney to guide you through the state’s complex intestate succession laws and what they mean for you. Call The Curry Law Firm at 713-678-0013 or fill out our contact form to request your free consultation.