Many people avoid planning for the end of life. However, not having an estate plan in Texas can cause significant problems for your loved ones.
This blog discusses the outcome when a person dies intestate, or without a will, in Texas. Understanding these implications can help you make informed decisions about your estate planning.
Texas law directs property distribution
If a person dies without a will in Texas, the state’s intestacy laws direct the distribution of their property. While these laws aim to distribute property fairly, they might not align with the deceased person’s wishes.
For instance, if you die and leave behind a spouse and children, Texas law divides your community property among them. If you have children from a previous relationship, the law complicates further and may not give all of your community property to your spouse.
Probate court involvement
When you die without a will in Texas, probate court takes a significant role in managing your estate. A judge appoints an administrator to gather your assets, pay any debts and distribute the remaining assets as Texas law requires. This process can take time and incur costs, and the court’s decisions may not mirror your personal asset distribution preferences.
Why you need an estate plan
By creating an estate plan, you control how the distribution of your assets will happen after your death. Without a plan, Texas law and the probate court make these decisions for you. Not having a will or estate plan can cause unintended consequences, such as the exclusion of certain family members from your estate or the distribution of your assets in a way you would not prefer.