Question: What if I die without a will in Texas?
A person who dies without a valid will is said to have died intestate (legal term for “without a will”).
Under Texas law, when a person dies without a will, the property passes to the heirs at law. That does not necessarily mean that things will happen the way that you want them to! For example:
- If you are married and you have children from a prior relationship, and you die without a will, your current spouse will inherit one-half of your estate and your children from a prior relationship will inherit one-half. This includes real estate. Needless to say, this does not work well for everyone, especially if it is a surprise!
- There are other examples of how property is inherited under the law that may not work well for families, especially those who are estranged, or never knew each other at all.
What can happen
If you do not decide how you would like your property to be distributed and put it into a will, your decision will be made for you! So it is very important to be sure that you have a will that specifies your wishes. And make sure it is a valid will that follows all the requirements under Texas law or it could be useless later on.
What else can go into the Will
Other issues that can be dealt with in your will include the following: whether you would like burial or cremation, where you would like to be buried, who should get specific items, and who gets the family pets.
How to know what you need
We can help you understand what you need, and how to accomplish it. Contact us for a consultation to understand all of your options. We will listen to you, and tailor something specifically for your family’s needs.