What am I entitled to if my father passed away without a Will?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What am I entitled to if my father passed away without a Will?

My father always said that he wanted all his children to have a part of his businesses. My mother says it all belongs to her because she’s the one who put up with him and she will decide what she gives to each child. All her favorite children agree with her since they know she will give them a piece of the businesses. I am not one of her favorites and she does not want to give me anything. What can I do?

Asked on April 10, 2016 under Estate Planning, Texas


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

In TX, when someone dies without a Will, their surviving spouse inherits all of their community property, plus 1/3 of their separate personal property and the right to use  their real estate for life. Their children inherit everything else.
Additionally, all property in TX is classified as either community or separate property depending on when and how it was acquired. So property acquired before marriage is classified as separate property, while property acquired during a marriage is presumed to be community property, except that acquired by gift, devise or descent.
Accordingly, whether or not your father's businesses are community or separate property depends on several factors. At this point, you may want to consult diirectly with a local probate attorney; they can best advise you further.

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