Each state’s intestacy laws will establish what happens to your property if you die without a will. In Texas, the Texas Probate Code governs who receives your property and the order of priority in those distributions. The Texas Probate Code establishes an order of intestate succession or distribution scheme for residents who died before and after Sept. 1, 1993. After Sept. 1, 1993, the beneficiaries of your property depend on their degree of kinship to you. The Texas Probate Code automatically gives certain heirs and your surviving spouse a legal right to inherit your property. If you did not want to leave property to certain heirs, you need to draft a valid will. You cannot usually totally disinherit your surviving spouse or dependent children by will alone.
There are many disadvantages to dying without a validly created will. A common disadvantage is that you retain almost no control as to which heirs inherit your property. If you wanted to leave certain friends, colleagues and charitable organizations property, you need to create a valid will, since the state’s intestacy rules do not include them. By creating a valid will, you can avoid most of these pitfalls. Scheduling an appointment with our office is the first step in helping you avoid them by creating a will.