What is a “moiety” and how does it affect inheritance?

Robert Ray

What is a “moiety?”

A moiety is one of two equal parts. The Texas Estate Code Section 201.001 (38(a)4 of the Texas Probate Code) directs the trial court to distribute an intestate decedent’s estate according to which of his heirs survive him. First, if he is not survived by his parents, siblings or descendants of siblings, children or descendants of children, the court is to divide the estate into two so-called “moieties” (equal shares). One moiety would then pass to his paternal grandparents (or their descendants.) The other half would pass to his maternal grandparents (or their descendants).

A problem may arise if there are descendants on one side but not the other. The Austin Court of Appeals dealt with this problem when a man died intestate and his only know heir was a first cousin (maternal side.) She claimed all of the estate. The attorney at litem appointed by the court to represent the unknown heirs claimed that the paternal moiety (half) should be held by the court in case any paternal heir was found and if not, should go to the State of Texas. The Austin court disagreed. It held that even though the estate was divided into two parts (moieties) if there was only one heir, that heir received all of the property not just one of the equal parts. 743sw2371.


There are new cases all the time that clarify or change the law on inheritance disputes. Keep up-to-date by subscribing to our blog.



Recent Posts

Who Can Contest a Texas Probate?

Who Can Contest a Texas Probate?

Who Can Contest a Texas Probate Background In order to contest a Texas probate, you have to have standing. Standing means a person has a right to bring a lawsuit in Texas. To have standing in a Texas probate proceeding, you have to be an interested party. Facts In a...

Presumption of Undue Influence

Presumption of Undue Influence A person who is an Executor, Administrator, Trustee, or who has a Power of Attorney is a fiduciary. A fiduciary must act in the best interest of the beneficiaries and show that each of his actions was in the beneficiaries' best interest....

Tax Foreclosure in Texas

axing authorities can foreclose on your real property when you don't pay your taxes. By statute, an owner may redeem real property purchased at a tax sale by paying certain amounts within a prescribed period of time after the purchaser's deed is...

Can a murderer inherit his victim’s property?

Texas Slayer Rule Affirmative Action Required 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...

The Author

Robert Ray

Robert Ray handles inheritance disputes of all kinds. He takes cases throughout Texas.
© Copyright 2024 | All Rights Reserved.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This