A beloved family member dies in Texas without a will. Now what?
Well, the State of Texas has an answer for you. In fact, it has already drafted the will and is ready for a Texas-sized probate!
Was he married at the time he died? If so, we divide the property into community property (acquired during marriage) and separate property (owned before marriage, acquired by gift or descent).
If he and his spouse had children (from their marriage only), then the surviving spouse gets all of the community property. If he had children from another marriage, then the surviving spouse keeps her half of the community property, and his children get the other half.
The separate property goes a bit differently. If he and his surviving spouse had children, then she gets 1/3 of the personal property, and they get 2/3 of the personal property. She gets a life estate in 1/3 of the real property, and the kids get a 2/3 interest in the real property and the remainder interest in her life estate.
If there were no children, then she gets all of the personal property. But the real property is split – she gets 1/2, and his parents or siblings get the rest of the interest.
If there was no surviving spouse, then his children get all of the separate property. If he did not have any children, then the interests go to his mother and father (if surviving), or the parent surviving gets 1/2 and his siblings get 1/2, and then it goes farther in the chain.
If he left no relatives, then the State of Texas gets it.
As an alternative to the foregoing jumble, why not just have a will drafted?
Hammerle Finley Law Firm. Give us a call. We can help.
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The information contained in this article is general information only and does not constitute legal advice.