Everyone should take the time to create a will. Having a will in place enables you to dictate exactly how your property and other assets will be distributed when you are no longer around. Without a will, you won’t have control over how your belongings are divided up.
The state of Texas has strict statues that determine how a person’s property is distributed when a person dies without a will. These statutes are known as intestacy statutes and they do not account for a person’s unique circumstances.
How property is distributed under intestacy statutes depends on the following factors:
- If the deceased individual has surviving children.
- If the deceased individual is single or married.
- If the deceased is married, the state will determine what property is community or personal and if the children of the deceased are also the children of the surviving spouse.
If you are single, don’t have any children, and you die without a will, intestacy statutes dictate for your property to pass equally to your parents, if they are both living. If only one of your parents is alive and you do not have any siblings, your entire estate will be passed on to the surviving parent. If you do have siblings, half of your property will go to your surviving parent, while the other half is divided among your brothers and sisters. If both of your parents are deceased, you property will go to your siblings to be sorted out. If there is no will at death, and there are surviving children from another relationship, then those children will receive part of the Estate and the house to the exclusion of the current surviving spouse.
Although some people would like their property to be sorted out among their family, not everyone shares the same sentiment. Some people are estranged for their parents for various reasons and have other people in their lives that they would rather have their property given to.
In rare circumstances, property is passed on to the state. In fact, this usually happens when the deceased hasn’t expressed their wishes in a will or has no living heirs.
Contact our estate planning attorney in Irving to schedule a free 30-minute consultation to discuss how to make a will that protects your estate.