How Property Distributed When Someone Dies Without A Will

I’m Single and Have No Children . . . What Happens if I Die Without a Will in Texas?

by Rania Combs

If you are an unmarried person who dies without a valid Texas Will, the Texas intestacy statutes will determine how your property will be divided.  According to these statutes, if you die without a will and are survived by descendants, your surviving descendants will inherit your entire estate.

When a single person without children dies intestate, the Texas Estates Code specifies that his estate will pass equally to his parents, if both are living.  If only one parent is alive, and the deceased does not have any brothers or sisters, then his entire estate will pass to his surviving parent.

However, if he does have siblings, or descendants of siblings, then the surviving parent would receive only half of the estate, and the remaining one half would be divided among his siblings or their descendants.  All of the decedent’s estate would pass to his siblings or their descendants if he has no surviving parents.

In cases where the deceased person has no surviving descendants, parents, siblings, or descendants of siblings, then the estate is divided into two halves, with one half passing to relatives on his mother’s side of the family, and the other one half passing to relatives on his father’s side.

If one side of the family has completely died out, the entire estate would pass to the surviving side of the family.  On rare occasions, when an unmarried person dies without any surviving heir, his estate will pass to the State of Texas.

If that doesn’t sound like the way you’d like your assets distributed after your death, you need a will.

About Rania

Rania graduated magna cum laude from South Texas College of Law Houston and is the founder of Rania Combs Law, PLLC. She has been licensed to practice law since 1994 and enjoys helping clients in Texas and North Carolina create estate plans that give them peace of mind.

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