What Happens if You Die Without a Will in Texas?

what happens if you die without a will in texasAlthough a will is an essential document of any estate plan, thousands of Texans die every year without one.

Nevertheless, the deceased person’s assets must be given to someone, and Texas law will step in and determine who receives them.

Read on to find out what happens if you die without a will in Texas.

Texas Intestate Laws

Someone who does not have a will dies “intestate.” Texas intestate succession laws determine who receives the property in the estate, which will depend on whether you are single and whether you have children. Let’s run through some common scenarios:

Married with children

If you die while married, then your surviving spouse does not necessarily receive everything. Instead, you will need to identify what property is “community property” and what is “separate property.” Community property is generally property you acquired while married and is divided as follows

Separate property is a property you brought into the marriage or things you inherited solely while married. Texas intestacy laws divide separate property differently:

Single but with children

If you are single but have children when you die, then your estate passes as follows:

Childless and unmarried

If you are single and do not have children, the following distribution rules apply if you die without a will in Texas:

In the event you have absolutely no relatives living, the state of Texas will happily take your estate.

Why You Need an Estate Plan

Even if you are happy to have your estate distributed according to the state’s intestacy laws, there are other reasons you need an estate plan. Dying without a will in Texas is not ideal. Instead, consider what you can accomplish in a comprehensive estate plan:

These are only some components of a comprehensive estate plan. Your needs may vary, but you must meet with an estate planning lawyer in Texas to find out your best options.

Inheritance dispute? Talk to an attorney today.

At Lindquist Wood Edwards, our will contest attorneys will fight for your interests to secure what you’re entitled to. To schedule your consultation, please call 214-760-6893 or submit anonline message.