The Texas State Constitution has a provision that says “”No conviction shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture of estate.” The Texas Estates Code §201.058 (Probate Code §41(d)) is similar. Those two provisions have been interpreted to allow a murderer to inherit from his victim. However, the courts have allowed the heirs of the victim to file suit against the murderer and to impose a constructive trust on any property he might receive from the victim. The practical effect of the constructive trust is to deny the murderer the inheritance from the victim.
If the heirs of the victim do nothing, the murderer receives his inheritance. If the heirs of the victim file suit in court, the courts will impose a constructive trust on the inheritance which effectively denies the inheritance to the murderer.
Insurance policies are different. The murderer does not inherit the proceeds from an insurance policy since there is a special statute that deals with insurance policies. That statute denies payment of the proceeds to the person who causes the death of the insured.
PEARLS OF WISDOM: If someone is ever in a position where the Texas slayer rule is involved and a murderer is going to profit from his misdeed, affirmative action is required to prevent the murderer from inheriting the victim’s property. Compare 287 S.W.2d 546 with 68 S.W.3d 242.
In Texas Parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and others are heirs for the purpose of distributing the estate of the deceased if he died intestate and if the deceased had no spouse or children. Even if the deceased had a spouse but no children, the other relatives may be entitled to some of the property. The rule is, if you can’t go down the family tree, you go up then out on to the branches to determine who inherits.
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In a recent case in Texas, a mother and father had a trust for the benefit of their two children. The mother died. The father later remarried and had two additional children. The father attempted to revoke the first trust and made provisions for the property to go to his four children, share and share alike. When the father died, one of the first two children asked the court to declare that the revocation of the first trust was invalid. The court agreed stating: (more…)
Tortiousinterference with inheritance rights is a tortwhere someone does something that has the effect of denying you an inheritance or gift that you should have received. It is a tort just as if someone runs a stop sign and injures you. Both of these actions are torts and you may be able to hold that other person liable for your damages.
It applies when a testator has been induced by tortiousmeans to make his first will or not to make it; and it applies also when he has been induced to change or remake it. It applies when a will is forged, altered or suppressed. It is well settled in Texas that “[a]ny intentional invasion of, or interference with, property, (more…)
HOA or Home Owner’s Association fees are much more common today than they used to be in the past. Most condominiums have an HOA. Small subdivisions may also have home owner’s associations. These associations are set up by the original builder or developer to help market the property. Once all of the units are sold, the developer will generally turn over the HOA to the owners of the units. These HOA’s have rules to protect the homeowner’s from each other. You don’t want your neighbor putting a car in his front yard, putting it up on jacks to work on then leaving it for (more…)
Usually. Most states will admit a foreign will to probate even if it doesn’t meet all the requirements of a will as long as it is valid in the state in which it was executed. (The term foreign will is how courts describe another state’s will. It doesn’t mean a will from another country.)
For instance, some states require that a will be attested to by two witnesses. Other states may require three witnesses. If you execute your will with two witnesses and it is valid in your old state, the new state will admit the will to probate even though it doesn’t meet the requirements of a will in the new state which may require three witnesses.
However, wills are not always recognized by the new state. As an example, Texas and many other states recognize holographic wills. A holographic will is one that is wholly in the testator’s handwriting. It doesn’t require witnesses if it is wholly in the testator’s handwriting. Florida does not recognize holographic wills and will not recognize a foreign will if it is a holographic will even though it is valid in the prior state where it was written. Florida Probate Code, §732.502. Just to be safe, if you move to another state you should talk to an attorney who handles estate planning to make sure your will is valid in your new state.
Copyright by Robert Ray a Texas inheritance attorney. The foregoing information is general in nature and does not apply to every fact situation. If you are concerned about inheritance laws, inheritance rights, have a family inheritance dispute, a property dispute or want information about contesting a will and need an inheritance lawyer, we can help. Please go to our main site www.texasinheritance.com and use the contact form to contact us today. We are Texas inheritance lawyers and would love to learn about your case and there is no fee for the initial consultation.