According to a recent Gallup poll, just less than half of Americans have a will, with the results not budging all that much since 1990. Those Americans aged 65 and older are more likely to have a will, with approximately 75 percent having one.  However, this percentage rapidly decreases the younger an adult is, with only 20 percent of adults under 30 having a will.

So what happens if you die in Texas without a will?  Keep reading to find out.

die without a will

What Is Intestacy?

If you die without a will in Texas, it’s called intestacy. This can cause numerous problems for your family when it comes to dividing your property.  Simply, without a will, your wishes aren’t known.

If you die intestate, your property is passed along to your next of kin, as determined by law. For example, in Texas, surviving spouses and then children are the first identified when determining next of kin (or legal heirs). 

However, if you don’t have a spouse or child, then the court will look next at any surviving parents or siblings of the deceased person to determine if they’re next in line for receiving your property. 

As you may imagine, this can become further complicated if you’ve been married more than once or have children from different marriages.  To walk through these complications, contact a qualified Texas probate attorney.

What Is Partial Intestacy?

It’s possible for you to die with a will, but it doesn’t dispose of all of your property. If that occurs, that is legally referred to as partial intestacy. 

In this case, the property you named in the will would be distributed accordingly,  However, the court will distribute any property not named in the will to your next of kin, such as your surviving spouse or children. 

Texas courts are often reluctant to recognize partial intestacies, but they will need to be addressed appropriately and legally if they occur. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s best to contact a qualified Texas probate attorney to walk you through the steps.

If a loved one dies without a will, 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 the death of a loved one, you can rely on our firm to defend your best interests and help make times like this go as smoothly as possible. Our attorneys share over 85 years of experience and are ready to put their knowledge on your side.