Can Stepchildren Force a Surviving Spouse to Sell Homestead Property?

June 23, 2015

The death of a spouse can be complicated in blended families, especially if the deceased spouse’s children are not bonded with their stepparent. Problems often arise in cases of intestacy, when Texas statutes dictate how property will be divided at death. In blended families, the surviving spouse is only be entitled to keep his or her own […]

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Can A Biological Sibling of an Adopted Child Inherit Under the Texas Intestacy Statutes

May 13, 2015

I recently got a note someone whose biological brother had been given up for adoption while he was a baby. His brother had just died in Texas without a Will. He wondered whether he was entitled to a share of brother’s estate. Section 201.054 of the Estates Code addresses the laws of descent and distribution […]

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The Complexities of Intestacy in Non-Traditional Families

February 4, 2015

I received a note last week that highlights the heartbreaking consequences of dying without a Will in non-traditional families. The couple had lived together for twenty-one years in a home the deceased partner had purchased before their relationship began. The deceased partner had been previously married and was survived by a child from the prior […]

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Intestacy Can Be A Nightmare In Blended Families

October 31, 2014

I got a note yesterday from a woman whose husband had died without a Will. Her husband was also survived by two children from prior relationships. She and her husband lived in a home that her husband had purchased before they were married. She asked what her rights were regarding her husband’s property and the […]

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Who Are My Heirs If I Am Single And Die Without A Will?

October 17, 2014

I explained last week that an heir is a person who will inherit your property by virtue of a state’s intestacy laws if you die without a Will. The Texas intestacy statutes are essentially a Will that the state of Texas writes for you. They are rigid and inflexible and do not take into account […]

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If You Are A Part of A Blended Family, You Need A Will

September 5, 2014

I got an email from someone this week whose husband did not have a Will. She and her husband had been married for 17 years. He had three children from a prior marriage, and they had one child together. Before they got married, he bought a house and a commercial building. During their marriage, they […]

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