If a person dies without a will in Texas, state law determines who inherits their estate. If all of the heirs cooperate and agree, the probate process can be relatively streamlined. However, if any of the beneficiaries disagree or refuse to cooperate, the probate process can become challenging, time-consuming, and costly. At that point, it can be beneficial to hire legal assistance
If you are involved in a dispute regarding the distribution of a deceased family member’s assets, reach out to a qualified lawyer who has experience with Sugar Land intestacy laws. A probate attorney at Romano & Sumner could work through any disputes between heirs’ and get you your rightful inheritance.
Under Texas law, if a person dies without leaving a Last Will and Testament, then the person died intestate. The distribution of the estate’s assets must then go through the state’s intestacy probate process, as outlined in Texas Estates Code, Chapter 201, Subchapter A . All of the property owned by the deceased person at the time of their death must be distributed accordingly.
The process first looks at if the decedent has any outstanding debts. If so, those debts will be paid by the estate, reducing any inheritance that is to be paid to the Decedent’s heirs. If the amount of debts or bills exceeds the value of the estate’s assets, then the estate may be considered insolvent, and the heirs may not be able to inherit anything at the end of probate. A Sugar Land legal advisor familiar with intestacy laws could explain how Texas probate laws work and review an accounting of the estate to ensure that all assets and debts have been accounted for.
Texas intestacy laws distribute property to a deceased person’s loved ones based upon the degree of connection that an heir has to a decedent. Heirs that can inherit under Texas probate laws include the spouse, descendants, parents siblings, and their siblings’ descendants. Intestacy law names heirs based on if the person had descendants as well as who the surviving family members are.
If a deceased person is survived by their spouse and both parents, but has no descendants, their spouse will inherit all of their community property and separate personal property. The spouse will also inherit half of the separate real property . The decedent’s parents will inherit the rest of the estate.
If only the decedent’s spouse and siblings and no parents or descendants survive the decedent, then the spouse will inherit all of the community property, separate personal property, and half of the separate real property. The decedent’s siblings will inherit the rest of the estate.
When the decedent outlives their parents, siblings, and their siblings’ descendants, and is only survived by their spouse with no children, the spouse will inherit the entire probate estate.
If the deceased person has only descendants surviving them, such as children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren, then they will inherit the entire probate estate.
However, if the decedent is survived by both their spouse and descendants, and all the descendants are also descendants of the spouse, then the spouse will inherit all the decedent’s community property, one-third of the decedent’s separate personal property, and a life estate interest in one-third of the decedent’s separate real property. The decedent’s descendants will inherit the rest of the estate.
If the decedent is survived by both their spouse and descendants, but the descendants are not the descendants of their spouse, then the spouse will inherit half of the decedent’s community property, one-third of the decedent’s separate personal property, and a life estate interest in one-third of the decedent’s separate real property. The decedent’s descendants will inherit the rest of the estate.
When a person dies without a spouse, children, parents, or siblings, their nieces and nephews will inherit their estate. If they have no nieces or nephews, then their grandparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins may inherit. Finally, if there are no surviving family members, then the state of Texas will assume the estate.
An attorney who has experience working with Sugar Land, Texas intestacy laws could help you understand what you could potentially inherit. Contact the legal team at Romano & Sumner today to let them help you obtain your deserved inheritance.
Romano & Sumner, PLLC