Who inherits if my wife passed away with no Will?

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Who inherits if my wife passed away with no Will?

I have a 18 year old stepdaughter and a 6 year old daughter. I am being told that my daughters will become part owners of my house. This does not sound correct to me,especially that a 6 year old will have part ownership of my house.

Asked on May 11, 2013 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

In Texas, property that does not automatically pass through some other means will pass to the surviving spouse and the children of the deceased.  The emphasis here is the "not automatically pass."  Many houses are purchased jointly such that each spouse has what is called a "right of survivorship."  If your house was purchased this way, then full title to the house would pass to you because you have the survivorship rights.  If this was a house that she owned before you were married, then you would only be entitled to a 1/2 interest in the house.  If you are not sure what your rights are, take a copy of all of your deed, contract, and title documents to a probate attorney.  They can tell you for sure whether you are granted ownership without the need to probate the estate or fighting your 18 year old stepdaughter for ownership of your own home.


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