When someone dies without a Will in Texas, their assets pass according to a statutory formula that takes into account a number of factors, such as whether they are married or single, whether they have children, and if they are married, whether their property is classified as separate or community property.
The Texas Intestacy statutes exist because the state thinks it is important that property be transferred in an orderly way after its residents die. So if someone dies without making a Will, the intestacy statutes dictate how their property will be distributed.
A person who is entitled to inherit under the state’s intestacy statutes is called an heir.
The intestacy statutes represent the state legislature’s best guess as to how a person would wish to transfer property at death. For example, the statutes assume that a single person without any children would want his parents to inherit his assets if they survive him.
They also assume that those who die without a Will in Texas would not want any stepchildren to benefit from their estate. Therefore, if you would like your stepchildren to inherit a portion of your estate, it is important to make provisions for them in a Will.