3 Texas Intestacy Scenarios If you die in Texas without leaving behind a valid last will and testament, all your property goes to owners that are pre-determined under Texas law. These laws, called intestate succession laws, give your property to those related to you. The only way to change these laws from applying to your estate is by creating a valid will and making your choices yourself. Situation 1: You die without a spouse or children. In this situation, your parents inherit your estate. If only one parent survives your death, half goes to the surviving parent and the other half is split between your siblings. If there are no parents, your siblings split your entire estate. If no parents or no siblings, your estate goes to your grandparents or their descendants, whomever is the closest relation to you. Situation 2: You die leaving a surviving spouse but no children. Your surviving spouse is entitled to receive all of your personal property. If you don't have any surviving parents, siblings or descendants of your siblings, your spouse also receives all of your real property. However, if you have surviving parents, your parents receive half your real estate and your spouse the other half. If your parents are dead but you have surviving siblings or descendants of siblings, the siblings take half the real estate and your surviving spouse the other half. Divorced spouses do not take any property. Situation 3: You die leaving behind a surviving spouse and several children. The way your estate is divided will depend on if your children are all from your current marriage or if you have children from a previous marriage and also whether you acquired the property during your marriage or whether it was given to you as a gift or as part of an inheritance. Ultimately, depending on the dynamics in your family, your spouse and your children may not be prepared for or expecting the distribution they receive at your death as a result of the laws of intestacy. Think about what you would like to happen to your property when you pass away. Do you want to be sure that your spouse or significant other is provided for? Do you want your children to receive something immediately? Are there specific treasures or legacies you wish to continue to stay with your family or bloodline? These are all considerations that can be addressed in a Will or other testamentary document such as a revocable living trust. Experienced estate planning attorneys Dallas TX of the John R. Vermillion & Associates, LLC offers estate planning and business planning resources to residents of Dallas TX. To learn more about these free resources, please visit http://www.revocabletrusts.com today.
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