My common law wife just passed away . We were together fourteen and one half years. She did not leave a will. She has a 15 year old daughter. Who gets the inheirentence ?

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My common law wife just passed away . We were together fourteen and one half years. She did not leave a will. She has a 15 year old daughter. Who gets the inheirentence ?

My common law wife just passed away. We have been
together 14 and 1/2 years . But she has a 15 year old
daughter, And there is no will. Who gets the
inheirentence ?

Asked on September 2, 2019 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

First, please accept our sympathy for your loss.
A common law marriage is treated like any other marriage for inheritance purposes. When someone passes away without a will, her property passes according to the laws for "intestate succession": the rules for who gets what when there is no will.
Your state (TX) is a "community property" state: that means that anything accumulated or acquired during marriage, including money and real estate, is the "community property" of the two spouses, except for if one spouse inherited something or was given a gift during marriage--inheritances and gifts, plus anything the spouse had pre-marriage, is "separate property." 
Under the TX intestate succession rules, when a spouse passes leaving behind a spouse and a child:
* The spouse (you) gets all the community property; gets 1/3 of the deceased's separate property; and gets the right to use any real estate owned either jointly or by the deceased for life.
* The deceased's child gets the other 2/3 of her separate property. 
So you both inherit, though unless your wife had alot of money or assets predating marriage, you will likely get more.


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