If my husband is terminally ill but doesn’t have a Will, do we still need to get one?

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If my husband is terminally ill but doesn’t have a Will, do we still need to get one?

He says if we don’t everything will go into Probate. Is this true, and what should I do because he is too ill to leave the house? We own everything together.

Asked on December 14, 2010 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If somone doesn't have a will, his or her belongings will pass, upon death, by intestate succession. That is, it will pass by a serious of legal rules or laws determining who gets what, based upon the number and identify of survivors. If there are no children of your husband, whether from this marriage or a previous one, all joint and most of his personal property should all go to you; however, if there are children, they will get a share. That may or may not be what you want; if it's not, you need a will to set out how the property passes. The rules for intestate succession are somewhat complex in Texas; to make sure that what will happen is what you want to happen, consult with a TX trust and estates lawyer who can evaluate your personal situation.


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