The laws of inheritance determine who inherits in the following situations:
- A person dies intestate (without a valid will;)
- A person has a valid will but for some reason, usually a mistake or the death of a beneficiary, the will does not dispose of all of the property - the property not disposed of by the valid will, will go to the persons determined by the laws of inheritance; and,
- A person has a will but the will is contested and is not admitted to probate. The person is then treated as if he died intestate (without a will) and the laws of inheritance determine who inherits the estate.
Texas, like all states, has laws of inheritance that determine who inherits a deceased person's estate. It is important to remember that if a person has a valid will that disposes of all of his property, it is the will and not the inheritance laws that determines who inherits the estate. The laws of inheritance determine who inherits only when there is no valid will that disposes of all of the property.
To find out who inherits the estate's property if there is no valid will disposing of all of the property, click on one of the following:
- Children, including adopted, pretermitted and illegitimate children;
- Adopted children's inheritance from their birth parents;
- Spouses, including common law as well as putative spouses;
- Parents and siblings; and
- Other relatives like nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles.