How Property Distributed When Someone Dies Without A Will

What are the Inheritance Rights of Half Siblings When Someone Dies Without a Will?

An unmarried man died without a Will. He had no children and both his parents died before him. But he did have two siblings: one brother and one half-sister. According to the intestacy statutes, this situation would result in his estate being distributed to his siblings. But is the half-sister entitled to inherit an equalRead More

The Complexities of Intestacy in Non-Traditional Families

I received a note last week that highlights the heartbreaking consequences of dying without a Will in non-traditional families. The couple had lived together for twenty-one years in a home the deceased partner had purchased before their relationship began. The deceased partner had been previously married and was survived by a child from the priorRead More

If You Don’t Have a Will, Texas Makes One For You

I received a phone call this week from a woman I’ll call Ellen, whose grandfather had succumbed to pancreatic cancer. His own children were unwilling to care for him while he was ill, so Ellen moved into his home and cared for him until he died. As an expression of his gratitude, Ellen’s grandfather promisedRead More

The Rigidity of the Intestacy Statutes

I received an email this week from a grieving and very frustrated man. He lost his wife this month after sixteen years of marriage. Both he and his wife had been married before, and each of them had children from their previous marriages. They owned a home in Texas. His wife never worked outside theRead More

Who Inherits When Unmarried Sibling Dies Without a Will in Texas

When an unmarried sibling dies without a will in Texas, the distribution of his estate will depend on whether he has any surviving descendants or parents. If he is survived by descendants, the Texas Estates Code specifies that the entire estate will pass to them. If he is not survived by descendants, his estate willRead More

The Unintended Consequences of Not Having A Will: Deadbeat Dad Claims Part of Deceased Son’s Estate

While I was in Houston over the Holidays, I read an article in the Houston Chronicle that illustrates the unintended consequences of not having a will. It was about a man named Timothy Cole, whose father had not been a part of his life since he was seven years old. Timothy Cole died in theRead More