Many people think that (a) they don't have enough money or property to need a Will; or (b) their property will automatically go to their spouse or children without the need for a Will.  Not necessarily! No estate is too small.  And the process is complex.

The Texas Probate Code is very specific on how estates are distributed if there is no Will.   Below is just a start:
  • If there is no surviving spouse, then to the children and their descendants.
  • If there is no surviving spouse or children or grandchildren, then to the parents.
  • If there are no parents, spouse, or descendants, then to cousins.
  • If one parent survives, then one-half of the decedent's estate goes to that parent and the other half to the brothers and sisters.
  • If the spouse and one parent survive, then the spouse inherits all the personal property, but only one-half of the real property of the decedent; the parent gets the other half of the real property.
  • If there is a surviving spouse and children, the surviving spouse gets one-third of the decedent's personal property and his/her children get the other two-thirds; the spouse gets a lifetime interest in one-third of the decedent's real property, and on the death of that spouse, the decedent's children inherit the real property of the decedent.
Confused?  Call me!  940-765-4992

 


Comments

03/30/2016 7:04am

Many details are discribed concerning the will settling. But what about other States? If there are other rules? I' d like to read more posts about it.

Reply

If you die without a will, it means you have died “intestate.” When this happens, the intestacy laws of the state where you reside will determine how your property is distributed upon your death. This includes any bank accounts, securities, real estate, and other assets you own at the time of death. Dying without a Will can create problems for those you leave behind. First, your property will be divided according to the law, which may not be the same as how you would have divided it. Second, there will be extra time delays and expenses involved in wrapping up your affairs, and the court will have to appoint someone to act as your personal representative. The general rule is that your closest relative has the right to be appointed as your personal representative. They are appointed by applying to the court for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee Without a Will. This gives authority to the personal representative to manage and distribute the estate of the deceased.

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05/27/2016 5:29am

In any case, your property will be transferred to your close relatives. The legacy will not fall into the wrong hands, even if the will is absent.

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05/27/2016 7:08am

But what happens if you want your daughter-in-law, who took care of you in the last years of your life, to inherit instead of your children who ignored you? Then the legacy will definitely fall into the wrong hands unless you have a will naming your daughter-in-law as your beneficiary.

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Each of us need to take care of his future and the future of his relatives. This is the reason for the premature drawing up a will.

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    Sharon K. Lowry, Attorney at Law with experience in probating Wills and in navigating the process of administrering estates where there is no Will.

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