Estate planning can be complicated, and issues could arise after a person’s death if he or she did not create a will or if the document is declared invalid for a specific reason. In such cases, estate administration can become precarious because Texas intestate laws will take over when it comes to distributing assets. As a result, surviving loved ones may worry about what will happen to their loved one’s assets.
If the decedent was married at the time of his or her passing, state inheritance laws regarding community property indicate that any property acquired during the marriage is jointly owned by the spouses. This means that if the couple did not have children or if all of the children belonged to the surviving spouse, the surviving spouse would inherit or maintain ownership of any marital property. Of course, not all assets fall into the category of community property.
Separate personal property belonged solely to the decedent and may have been acquired before the marriage or inherited by or gifted solely to the deceased after marriage. If the decedent had children and a spouse, the children are entitled to two-thirds of the separate property, and the spouse is entitled to one-third of the property. If there were no children, the surviving spouse would receive the entirety of the separate personal property.
It is important to remember that inheritance laws could affect real estate and other types of property differently. Estate administration laws in Texas, especially those relating to intestate succession, can be difficult to understand or may seem unfair in some cases. If surviving loved ones have concerns about property distribution after a family member’s death, they may wish to consult with experienced attorneys.