property in Texas

You often hear about California being a community property state, affecting individuals during divorce and death. However, Texas also recognizes community property, making it one of nine states to do so, along with Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Washington, and Wisconsin – and of course, California.

Whether property is separate or community will impact who receives what when the person dies without a will. Keep reading to learn more about separate and community property in Texas.

What Is Separate Property in Texas?

Generally, separate property is any property that is owned by a spouse before marriage.  This includes any proceeds from the sale of the property. Additionally, any profits, capital gains, income, or rents from this property is also considered separate property.

Separate property also includes earned income from either spouse before the marriage.

In Texas, separate property also includes any property acquired during marriage through gift, inheritance, or will. Finally, separate property includes any amounts received for personal injury, except for any tort recovery for loss of earnings or medical expenses (this is considered to  be community property).

What Is Community Property in Texas?

In Texas, community property is generally any property that is acquired by a couple when they’re married – except for a few exceptions. Categorizing property this way can have a significant impact on property distribution in the case of yours or a loved one’s death.

Some examples of community property include earned income of either spouse during the marriage, property purchased (and any income from that property) during the marriage, and any dividends or interest on property acquired during the marriage (including dividends or interest earned on either spouse’s separate property during the marriage).

Whether property is separate or community is an issue that frequently arises after the death of someone who has been married more than once. Since Texas is one of only nine states to currently recognize community property, you should make every effort to ensure that the attorney you select to help you handle your case in Texas is one who is well versed in the issues surrounding estate administration and community property.

It is critical to understand property’s origin to determine whether Texas deems it “separate” or “community.”  Generally, the law of the state where property was originally acquired governs the nature of the property’s ownership. Further, this nature of the property follows the individual when they move from state to state – including Texas.

If you’re facing a will contest for a loved one, it’s best to have the help of a skilled Texas probate attorney to help you navigate this legal process. At Norris & Weber, our experienced and compassionate attorneys are dedicated to protecting you and your family. 

If you are facing difficult matters related to wills or will contests, you can rely on our firm to defend your best interests and help make times like this go as smoothly as possible.