It cannot be overstated how important it is to adopt a will. Not only does a will ensure your loved ones will be taken care of, but proper estate planning can help avoid certain taxes and other legal requirements for the distribution of property.
If an individual passes before leaving a will, Texas intestate succession laws will guide the distribution of his or her assets. These laws are complex and have many stipulations, so loved ones will need the help of an experienced Texas probate lawyer to distribute assets.
Texas Intestate Succession Laws
The Texas intestate succession laws outline how assets of an estate should be administered if there is no will. However, only assets that would have been distributed through a will are subject to intestacy laws. Things like property transferred via a trust, life insurance payouts, or a co-owned asset are excluded from intestate succession proceedings.
Determining who gets what after a loved one passes away without a will is incredibly complicated in Texas. The distribution of assets can be broken down by what types of surviving relatives are left behind.
If you leave behind:
- Children, but no spouse, parents, or siblings – your children receive all of your assets distributed equally.
- A spouse, but no children, parents, or siblings – your spouse inherits all of your assets.
- Parents, but no children, spouse, or siblings – your parents receive all of your assets, shared equally.
- Siblings, but no children, spouse, or parents – your siblings equally share all of your assets.
- A spouse and children – your spouse inherits any community property, 1/3 of your personal property, and the right to use your real estate property for life. Your children will inherit everything else.
- A spouse and parents – your spouse will receive all of your community and personal property and half of your separate real estate, while your parents inherit everything else.
- A spouse and siblings – your spouse will receive all of your community and personal property and half of your separate real estate, while your siblings share your remaining assets.
In addition, Texas has specific provisions and exceptions for grandchildren, nieces and nephews, stepchildren, posthumous relatives, and many other unique situations.
Hensley Krueger LLP: Texas Intestacy Lawyers
If you suffered the loss of a loved one, you don’t need the burden of trying to figure out Texas’ complex intestacy laws. At Hensley Krueger LLP, we can handle the distribution of your loved one’s estate for you, ensuring all beneficiaries receive their rightful share. Contact us today to get started.