WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITH NO WILL?

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WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITH NO WILL?

At the risk of sounding terrible, my 75 yr old mother refuses to have a will drawn up becuase she feels it’s “bad luck.” I have 1, 1 brother, and 1 sister that is deseased. Can you tell me what will happen to her property when she dies? She does not have much .No money, and an older home that is paid for.

Asked on June 24, 2009 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

When your mother passes, and if she still has no will, then she will die "intestate".  This means means that her estate will pass via Texas's intestacy statute.  Accordingly, one-third passes to each surviving child (you and your brother), with one-third passing to the children of each deceased child (your sister's children).

This applies to all property passing through the probate estate.  She may, however, have other property that will pass outside of the estate.  For example any property held in joint tenancy, or any life insurance proceeds payable to a beneficiary, or any securites or bank accounts that have a designee listed.

Probably however, since your mother's estate appears to be a simple one, most if not all of her assets will be distributed pursuant to the intestacy statute.

 


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