Frequently Asked Questions About Dying Without A Will

Who Are The Heirs of a Single Person With No Surviving Parents or Children Who Dies Without a Will?

When an unmarried person dies without a Will in Texas, the Texas Intestacy Statutes control how their property will be distributed. The intestacy statutes are the Texas legislature’s best guess on how a Texan would want their property distributed when they die. In Texas, if a single person dies without a Will, and has no … Read More

What is a Laughing Heir?

I heard about “laughing heirs” for the first time during my Wills, Trusts, and Estates class in law school. A laughing heir is an heir of an estate so remotely related to a decedent that he or she feels no grief over the decedent’s death. The idea that someone very distantly related to a deceased … Read More

How Will My Property Be Distributed If I Die Without A Will Before My Divorce is Final?

If you and your spouse are planning to divorce, you probably wouldn’t want your property distributed to him or her if you died while your divorce is pending. But if you die without a Will in Texas while you are still married, your estate will be divided according to a statutory formula that doesn’t take … Read More

Will The State Get My Property If I Die Without A Will?

Everyone needs a Will. A Will allows you to dictate how your property will be distributed after you die. If you don’t have a Will, you lose control over that decision. Texas has statutes that dictate how property will be distributed when a Texan dies without a Will. These intestacy statutes are rigid and inflexible. … Read More

Can An Adopted Child Inherit From His Biological Parents?

Section 201.054 of the Texas Estates Code provides that an adopted child “inherits from and through the child’s natural parent or parents.” This section of the Estates Code should be read in conjunction with Section 161.206 of the Family Code, which provides, that in case involving the termination of the parent child relationship, the child … Read More

Are Stepchildren Legal Heirs in the State of Texas?

When someone dies without a Will in Texas, their assets pass according to a statutory formula that takes into account a number of factors, such as whether they are married or single, whether they have children, and if they are married, whether their property is classified as separate or community property. The Texas Intestacy statutes … Read More