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If you die “intestate” (without a will), Texas law dictates who gets your stuff.

If you die with: Here’s what happens:
  • children but no spouse
  • children inherit everything
  • spouse but no children, parents, or siblings
  • spouse inherits everything
  • parents but no children, spouse, or siblings
  • parents inherit everything
  • siblings but no children, spouse, or parents
  • siblings inherit everything
  • a spouse and children who are also the children of your spouse
  • spouse inherits all of your community property, plus 1/3 of your separate personal property and the right to use your real estate for life
  • children inherit everything else
  • a spouse and children who are not the children of your spouse
  • spouse keeps 1/2 of the community property, 1/3 of your separate personal property, and the right to use your real estate for life
  • children inherit everything else, including your 1/2 interest in the community property
  • a spouse and parents
  • spouse inherits all of your community property, all of your separate personal property, and 1/2 of your separate real estate
  • parents inherit everything else
  • one parent and siblings but no spouse
  • parent inherits 1/2 of your separate property
  • siblings equally share remaining 1/2 of your separate property
  • a spouse and siblings, but no parents
  • spouse inherits all of your community property, all of your separate personal property, and 1/2 of your separate real estate
  • siblings inherit everything else

What’s the takeaway?  MAKE A WILL UNLESS YOU WANT THE STATE OF TEXAS TO DECIDE WHO GETS YOUR STUFF!

Be a sport.  It is not that expensive to get an attorney who is experienced with wills, trusts and estates to draft a will for you.  Doing so will save your loved ones a ton of headaches after you pass.

And remember:  “If it’s not written down, it never happened.”