Does My Spouse Get Everything If I Die Without a Will?
There are people who fail to act from an estate planning perspective because they harbor certain misconceptions. If you are under the impression that the government will take care of everything in the ideal manner if you pass away without a will or any other estate planning documents, you are sorely mistaken.
The condition that would exist if you were to die without a will is called intestacy. Under these circumstances, the probate court would step in to sort out the situation using the intestate succession laws of the state of Texas. A court appointed personal representative would handle the business of the estate, and the administration of the estate would be supervised by the court.
Final debts would be paid during this probate process, and ultimately, the assets that comprise the estate would be distributed to relatives under intestate succession laws.
If you are married and you pass away intestate in the state of Texas, your spouse would not necessarily get everything under the intestate succession laws. It would all depend upon the circumstances. For example, if you have a surviving spouse when you pass away, and you have parents still living, but you have no children, your spouse would inherit all of your personal and community property.
However, things are different with real property. Under the intestate succession laws, your spouse would get half of your real property, and your parents would get the other half. This is probably not going to sit very well with your spouse, and if your spouse was to die first with his or her parents still alive, you would probably not be very pleased with the arrangement either.
The intestate succession laws would allow for your spouse to inherit all of the community property, but just one third of your separate personal property if you pass away intestate with a surviving spouse and children from that spouse. Your spouse would also have the right to use real property that was in your possession for the rest of his or her life. The surviving children would inherit the rest of the separate property.
These are just a couple of examples, but the laws cover every different possible scenario that can exist with regard to the pecking order as it were. If you were to pass away with no living relatives of all, even distant relatives, the state could ultimately assume ownership of your property through escheat laws.
Don’t Take Chances
When you plan your estate, you make sure that everyone that you love is provided for in the appropriate manner. Intestacy is really not an acceptable option for serious minded individuals.
If you are currently unprepared, contact us through this page to set up a consultation: Dallas TX Estate Planning Attorneys.