What Will Your Children Inherit If You Die Without a Will?

iStock_children on beachUntil someone discovers the Fountain of Youth and offers its waters up for sale, we will continue to age until we inevitably pass on. When you are gone, your worldly possessions will need to be distributed. People typically believe a surviving husband or wife will get their property, and if there is no surviving spouse, then the children will inherit everything.

That’s not necessarily the way your estate will be divided if you die without a will in Texas. Children can complicate an intestate property division significantly. Before passing everything to your spouse, Texas law considers whether all of your children are the children of your surviving spouse. If all of your children are also your spouse’s children, then your spouse will in fact inherit your estate if you die without a will.

If all of your children are not also your spouse’s children, then your estate will be divided between your children and your spouse. Your spouse will receive half and your children will divide the other half of your property. Your step-children will not inherit anything from you if you die without a will in Texas.

Adopted children are treated the same as natural born children under the Texas Probate Code. An illegitimate child (born out of wedlock) can inherit from his or her mother’s estate, but unless certain conditions apply, he or she cannot inherit from a natural father who dies without a will.

If you need help constructing a comprehensive estate plan to make sure your wishes are carried out when you’re gone, contact an experienced Bryan, Texas estate planning attorney at the Peterson Law Group. To schedule a consultation, call us today at 979-703-7014.

About Chris Peterson

Chris Peterson is an attorney and the owner and founder of Peterson Law Group, a Texas law firm with offices in Bryan/College Station and Kingwood. He mainly practices in the areas of Estate Planning and Business Planning. Chris is also a Certified Estate Planner. Besides his law practice, Chris is a serial entrepreneur and community volunteer. He is known for his cutting edge law practice that utilizes technology to deliver efficient, excellent work.