is life estate automatically granted to a spouse in Texas

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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is life estate automatically granted to a spouse in Texas

My father has recently passed away and has willed my brother and
I his estate. He is survived by his widownot our mother. The
house is not considered community property and nothing was
written to the effect of establishing a life estate. All that
being said is his widow automatically granted a life estate
intrest pin the houseurely on the grounds that they were married.

Asked on July 4, 2016 under Estate Planning, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The will controls who gets what.  If the will did not grant her an interest in his separate property, then she is not allowed to retain an interest.  The exception would be if she executed any other deeds or addendums to his deeds to the property which granted her a life estate.  Meaning, look at more than just the will.  Also look at any deeds related to the property. 
If you are unclear as to how to dispose of the property or clear title, visit with a probate and/or real estate attorney.  Many attorneys do both...and it would be cost effective to find an attorney that has experience in both areas so that they can help you address remedies via title issues or the probate court, whichever is most applicable. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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