FAQs About Dying Without A Will

Will My Stepchild Inherit Any Portion of My Estate If I Die Without a Will?

by Rania Combs

From the time we’re children reading Cinderella, we hear stories of strained relationships between stepchildren and their stepparents. So much so that stories of positive relationships often take us aback.

But loving relationships are common. For example, I know a stepmother who bonded so much with her stepdaughter that she continues to have visitation privileges even though she and her husband are now divorced. And I recently worked with a client who continued to have such strong relationship with a stepson that he wanted to provide for that child in his Will, even though he was now divorced from the child’s mother and remarried.

By making a valid Texas Will, stepparents can ensure that their stepchildren inherit from their estates. But unless the stepparent has legally adopted the stepchild, the lack of a biological relationship will preclude a stepchild from inheriting by virtue of the intestacy statutes, which controls how property is distributed when someone dies without a Will in Texas.

If you have a great relationship with your stepchild and want him or her to inherit a portion of your estate, 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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  1. Bryan LupPlace

    September 19, 2016 at 4:33pm

    My wife died without a will. She had 3 children from a previous marriage. Is a deed of trust the only way to remove them from owning half of my house if I need or want to sell it to move? If I get married again? This is ridiculous if I have been paying for it and need the sale price to buy another house. One has signed, the other two I can’t get an answer from.

    1. Rania Combs

      September 23, 2016 at 3:40pm

      Please accept my condolences for your loss. The following article may answer your questions: The Complexities of Intestacy in Blended Families.