Intestacy in Texas – What You Need to Know
Intestacy refers to the status of someone’s estate who dies without a will. When a person has died intestate in Texas, his/her estate goes through probate court and the state laws will control how to distribute the assets. In a previous blog post, we addressed the question What Happens If You Die Without a Will? Today, probate attorneys at the Davidson Law Group provide an overview of the intestate succession laws in Texas. Here’s what you need to know.
A Close Relative or a Spouse Survive the Decedent
In Texas, if you die without a will, your closest relatives will inherit your assets under intestate succession laws. Deciding who gets what property will depend on which relatives are still living when you pass. There are many different scenarios that you can find below. If you die with:
Children But No Spouse
If this happens, your children will inherit the entire estate.
A Spouse But No Parents, Children, or Siblings
If this happens, your spouse will get everything.
Parents But No Children, Spouse, or Siblings
In this case, your parents inherit the entire estate.
Siblings But No Children, Spouse, or Parents
In this circumstance, your siblings will get everything.
A Spouse and Parents
Here, it starts to get a bit tricky. Your spouse acquires all your community property (all property obtained during the marriage), all of your separate personal property, and ½ of your separate real estate. Your parents get everything else.
One Parent and Siblings But No Spouse
Your parent will inherit ½ of your separate property, while your siblings share the remaining ½ of your separate property.
A Spouse and Siblings, But No Parents
Your spouse obtains all of your community property, all of your separate property, and ½ of your separate real estate. Your siblings will inherit everything else.
So, usually, the spouse gets first dibs on property. If, however, the deceased person had debts that eclipsed the estate’s value, you will not get anything. If you are concerned about these areas of the law, see our experienced probate attorneys for assistance.
Decedent Has No Close Relative or Spouse
If the decedent has no spouse, parents, descendants, or siblings remaining, then nieces and nephews will inherit the property (if any). Otherwise, it will pass on to grandparents, uncles or aunts, or cousins of any degree. It is highly unlikely, but if the deceased person has no surviving relatives, the whole probate estate will revert to the state of Texas.
Davidson Law Group Quick Tip: When you create a will, you have the freedom to choose how and to whom to divide your property when you pass. The Davidson Law Group probate attorneys can assist you with writing a simple will.
Consult Our Probate Attorneys for Help
Our probate attorneys can help clarify your legal rights as an intestate beneficiary in Texas. To learn more about these Texas intestacy laws, consult with the Davidson Law Group today. We serve the greater Dallas area with offices in Fort Worth, Allen, and Tyler.