What Happens To Your Assets If You Die Without A Will?
We all build assets throughout our lives. There are even things that have sentimental value with little or no monetary worth. Without estate planning or a will, though, you will not be able to dictate who gets them after you are gone. A study by the AARP found that only four out of every 10 people have a will or living trust prepared.
If you or a loved one dies without a will, your estate will go into a process called intestacy. This essentially means you will not have any say in who inherits your valuables. I am attorney Ashlei D. Gradney, the founding attorney of Gradney, PC. I can help you prepare a will, plan your estate, avoid intestacy and address probate disputes.
Intestate Succession law
If someone dies without a will, their assets are distributed by the Texas Probate Court through intestate. There is a sequence of distribution.
The order of inheritance in intestate:
- Children (no spouse): Children inherit everything.
- Spouse (no children): Spouse inherits everything.
- Parents (no spouse or children): Parents inherit everything.
- Siblings (no spouse, children or parents): Siblings inherit everything.
- Spouse and children from your relationship. Spouse inherits all community property, plus a third of other personal property. Children inherit all of your other property.
- Spouse and children who are your spouse’s, but not yours. Spouse keeps half of the community property, a third of your separate personal property and your real estate. Children get everything else, including half of the community property.
- Spouse and parents. Spouse inherits all your community property, all your separate personal property and half of your real estate. Parents inherit everything else.
- One parent and siblings. Parent inherits half your separate property. Siblings equally share remaining half of your separate property.
- Spouse and siblings (no parents). Spouse inherits all your community property, all your separate personal property and half your separate real estate. Siblings get everything else.
Wills And Estate Planning Give You A Say In Who Collects Your Property
There are other issues that affect intestate succession and settling an estate. If someone dies without a will and they do not have family, their possessions will be forfeited to the state. You want to manage your assets, even after you have passed. I am an experienced probate lawyer with extensive knowledge of Texas’ inheritance laws. Call my Dallas office at 214-974-5475 or fill out my online contact form.