Probate without a Will
Distribution of Property without a Will
If an individual dies without a will, Texas law sets forth a procedure of the distribution of the deceased property. The following is a basic summary of this scheme:
If an individual dies without a will, Texas law sets forth a procedure of the distribution of the deceased property.
The following is a basic summary of this scheme:
Husband or Wife Survive the Deceased
If a person dies and is survived by a spouse, the deceased person’s property is split differently, depending on whether it is community property of the marriage, or separate property of the deceased.
Community Property of the Deceased
1) If the deceased had no children, or if the surviving spouse is the parent of all of the deceased person’s children, then all of the community property shall pass to the surviving spouse.
2) If the deceased is survived by children or other descendants, such as grandchildren, that are not children or descendants of the surviving spouse then the surviving spouse inherits one-half of the community estate and the other one-half passes to the children or descendants of the deceased spouse. The surviving spouse retains their own interest in the community property in all cases.
Separate Property of the Deceased
1) If a person passes away and is survived by Children and a Spouse, then the Spouse shall inherit one-third of the separate property and the children shall inherit two-thirds.
2) If a person passes away and is survived by a Spouse, but no children, then the surviving spouse inherits all of the personal estate and one-half of the real estate of the deceased. The other half of the real estate passes according to the rules set forth below, if the deceased is survived by either a father or a mother or at least one surviving brother or sister, or their descendants. Otherwise, the surviving spouse inherits the whole of the estate of such intestate.
No Husband Or Wife Survive the Deceased
If a person dies and has no surviving spouse, all of his property will be separate property and will pass in the same manner.
When a person without a will and without any spouse, his property is distributed as follows:
1) If he has children, his property passes to his children, or to their descendants in the event that one or more children have passed away with children of their own;
2) If he has no children, his property shall pass to his parents in equal shares;
3) If either of his parents have passed away, half of the estate passes to the surviving parent, and the other half passes to the brothers and sisters of the deceased. If only one parent survives, with no surviving brothers or sisters, the entire estate shall pass to the surviving parent.
4) If both of his parents have passed away, then the estate passes to the brothers and sisters of the intestate, and to their descendants.
5) Past this point, the property passes up to the person’s grandparents, then done through the decedents of his grandparents.
Thank you for your interest in these articles. Please remember that these articles are designed to provide general legal information and may not apply to specific legal situations. Legal matters can be complicated by issues outside of the scope of our articles. Publishing these articles does not constitute legal advice on the part of Davis McCown, Attorney at Law. Neither review of any article, nor use of the information provided, constitutes an attorney/client relationship. It is recommended that all estate planning documents and decisions be discussed with a qualified attorney.