Can Spouses Inherit – Including Common Law

Robert Ray

What does a Texas spouse inherit?

If there is a will, the will determines what property a spouse inherits. If there is no will, what a spouse inherits is determined by the type of property in the estate and what other heirs of the deceased exist. A review of the property in an estate and how much of it a spouse is entitled to can be found here.

There are two types of marriages that are recognized by Texas law:

  1. Ceremonial marriage – where the spouses obtain a marriage license and are married by someone authorized by law to perform marriages; and
  2. Common law marriages – where no marriage license is obtained and a ceremonial marriage may or may not be performed.

The law treats the spouse of a common law marriage the same as the spouse of a ceremonial marriage. Both are heirs of their spouse and would take under the laws of descent and distribution. Of course, the common law spouse must prove that they meet all of the legal requirements to be considered a common law spouse before they would be entitled to inherit.

For more information Start Here to Read About Inheritance.

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Robert Ray is the Editor and owner of this site. Board Certified, Personal Injury Trial Law — Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

We handle cases throughout Texas. Our principal office is in Lantana, Texas (DFW area).

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Robert Ray

Robert Ray handles inheritance disputes of all kinds. He takes cases throughout Texas.
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