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.
If you have questions about your inheritance rights and would like to talk to an estate planning attorney or a lawyer who is familiar with inheritance and probate law to advise you about your inheritance rights, click on the “Contact Us” tab at the top.
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…)