As a rule, you’re allowed to do whatever you want with your property when you pass away. Whatever instructions are left in your will are supposed to control where your assets go, right? Well, not necessarily. There are some pretty big exceptions to this general rule, and one of them has to do with the property your spouse is entitled to after your death.
There’s no state in which you can completely and totally disinherit your spouse, unless of course, he or she agrees in writing in the form of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. And Texas is no different. Texas is a community property state. This means that, generally, property acquired by a couple during marriage is considered to belong to both parties in equal shares. There are some exceptions, and an estate planning attorney can fill you in on all of the nuances.
In Texas, if you attempt to disinherit your spouse, he or she is still entitled to half of the community property that you leave behind at your death. However, you can do whatever you please with your half of the community property. You can also do what you wish with your separate property – property you brought to the marriage, and assets you acquired during the marriage that did not become community property.
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