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Inheriting property in Texas

On Behalf of | Jan 21, 2018 | blog

When a loved one dies, there is a lot to take care of. After the initial shock and the funeral, there are so many details left to clear up with their earthly possessions. If they didn’t have a will, there are a few additional things to take care of under Texas law as well.

The rules of inheritance are fixed and make most circumstances clear. A surviving spouse will inherit the house that they share in nearly all cases. While that’s the law, there are a few details which need to be taken care of to make the transfer complete. It is important to have an attorney experienced in probate matters walk you through the procedures, especially when it comes to real estate.

Community Property

Texas is a community property state, which means that a married couple owns everything jointly. If one spouse dies, the other becomes the sole owner of their estate unless a will directed otherwise. So if your father has just passed on, for example, your mother automatically has ownership of the house that they owned together.

That makes for a very clean situation that takes at least some of the worry out of a difficult time. But it is still very important to follow-through to establish full property rights.

If there is no surviving spouse

If a loved one recently died without a will, a status known as intestate, the law outlines very precisely how property is to be passed on. When there are children, for example, property is passed on directly to them. It’s very inflexible when there is no will and the process is also automatic.

There are still many documents to fill out to complete the transfer, however. While the rights to the property are automatically inherited, the property itself needs to be properly registered to avoid problems in the future.

A probate attorney is needed

Even in the simplest of estates, an attorney experienced with probate can make the process much easier for everyone. You have enough on your mind when that time comes. A lot of peace of mind can be had with the right experience in real estate and administration of estates.

The process is not difficult, but it has to be followed carefully. It’s worth it to have someone you trust walk you through the process and take care of the details.