How does probate work if someone married 1 year before their death?

My mom recently passed away and had been married to her new spouse only about a year. He and my sister and I did not get along. About 2 months before she passed, he went to CA to

Asked on October 17, 2017 under Estate Planning, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Married one year or one day or one hour, living in separate states or separate countries or separate continents, it doesn't matter. All that matters is that they were legally married. Assuming your mother did not have a will--if she did, then her property goes to whomever the will says it does--her property goes or passes by "intestate succession": the rules for who gets what when there is no will. In your state (Texas) when there is no will, if there is a spouse (which there is) and children not from that spouse (you and your sister), the spouse gets 1/3 of your mother's separate property (anything she owned pre-marriage) and the right to use your mother's real estate for life (so he can live there as long as he wants; and he has a 1/3 interest in the home, as well as 1/3 of anything else she had pre-marriage). You and your sister split the other 2/3 of her separate property and her 1/2 interest in community property (what she acquired while married).

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