According to Merriam-Webster, intestate is defined as an adjective: having made no valid will. And as a noun: one who dies intestate. Rather simple, right? Well, the process that follows can be far from simple.
Intestate succession laws determine who inherits property of a deceased person that did not leave a will. If this is the case, they are automatically entered into the state’s intestacy probate process. Each state controls the functioning of this process through the intestacy succession laws found in the Texas Probate Code, Title 2, Subtitle E, Chapter 201. This law will dictate the dispersal of the deceased person’s probate estate.
During a probate process, the beneficiaries must demonstrate to a court that the distribution of property is fair and honest. Any property that was owned by the decedent at the time of their death as well as debts or bills they owed becomes part of the probate. The outstanding debt will be subtracted from the total amount of properties and then the remaining balance is separated according to law. The average cost of probate can vary drastically. It can take up to two years for the entire process to complete.
The distribution of property upon death, once heirship (title) is determined, is according to the Laws of Descent and Distribution, found in Tex. Est. Code §§ 201.001 to 201.152. The actual application of the law is best performed by examining the facts of the decedent’s family history and comparing it to those persons surviving.
The statutes in force at the time of death govern the disposition of the decedent’s estate and determine the persons entitled to share in the estate
Many valuable assets don’t go through your will and aren’t affected by intestate succession laws. We have included some examples below:
These assets will pass to the beneficiary you named or to the surviving co-owner, whether or not you have a will.
Under intestate succession, the distribution of the estate depends on whether or not you have parents, living children or other close relatives when you die. We took the time to create an infographic to help navigate your current situation:
Higher quality Texas intestacy chart PDF.
There is no need to try to go it alone when it comes to probate cases in Dallas. We help with probate cases. If you want to ensure things go as smoothly and as swiftly as possible, call us today to see how we can help.
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Our Dallas Probate Attorneys provide a full range of probate services to our clients, including helping with probate administrations when there is no will. Affordable rates, fixed fees, and payment plans are available. We provide step-by-step instructions, guidance, checklists, and more for completing the probate process. We have years of combined experience we can use to support and guide you with probate and estate matters.
Disclaimer: The content of this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice and should not be acted upon without consulting a qualified probate attorney.