How will me father’s estate be divided if he died with no known Will?

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How will me father’s estate be divided if he died with no known Will?

There are 11-13 children and a wife of a year. All properties and assets were obtained way before their marriage. The house and property we lived in, she moved out of. She has paid no bills here and changed her address. The other day she came to steal belongings that were here before she moved in. Does she still have the legal right to live here? Is she allowed to be on the property? Does she have a part or stake in any of his real estate? What can we do?

Asked on July 27, 2014 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the issues that have arisen.  Your Father died "intestate" and thus the intestate succession statute will apply in the distribution of his estate.  But first, the property in question has to be charachterized as either community property or separate property. All property acquired during a marriage is presumed to be community property. Under Texas laws, if you are married and are survived by a spouse and children, then your surviving spouse will inherit all your community property if all your children are also the children of your surviving spouse. Otherwise, all your one-half interest in the community estate will pass to your children, with your spouse keeping only his or her one-half interest. If your property is characterized as separate property, the distribution scheme is different. If you are survived a spouse and children, your surviving spouse is entitled to one third of your separate personal property and only a life estate (the right to use the property until his or her death) in one-third of your separate real property. The rest would be inherited outright by the children of the deceased spouse. What you need to do is to consult with an attorney asap.  Good luck.


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