What are my rights to my brother’s estate if he died without a Will?

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What are my rights to my brother’s estate if he died without a Will?

My brother killed himself on 8/31/09. He had no Will but did have 2 kids. The oldest is claiming to have POA of all of his property. He was not married but the oldest kid has allowed her mother, (his first wife) to move into his house. They have been moving things in and out and going through his personal things. His daughter was on his checking account. From what I understand, this is not legal. Also, he had some things that mother gave him from when we were growing up. Do I have any rights to them? Do I have any rights in this matter? It has been almost 1 1/2 years and I’m just now finding out what’s going on. Is this between the kids only? I am very mad about this.

Asked on January 6, 2011 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your brother died "intestate" (i.e. without a Will ), then his estate will be distributed according to the laws of the state where he was domiciled as of the date of his death.  In TX, such a distribution goes to a surviving spouse, if any, and to the deceased's children.  A sibling only inherits if the deceased left no children.  Since this is not the case in your situation (i.e. your brother left "issue"), you would have no rights to any of his estate.

Note:  A POA extinquishes upon the death of the maker.  However, as indicated above, the children have lrights to inherit pursuant to TX's intestacy statute.


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