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Who Inherits the Estate When Grandma Dies Without a Will?

Posted by Chris Peterson | Jul 05, 2013 | 0 Comments

Who Inherits the Estate When Grandma Dies Without a Will?

Senior woman meeting with agentAt Peterson Law Group we recommend all adults who own assets do their family members a favor by consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney to draft a will. Doing so significantly minimizes disagreements among family members about the final disposition of your assets.

In the absence of a will, Texas law sets an order of inheritance based on family relationship. If the deceased person was married, the spouse inherits the entire estate — but only if the deceased did not have any children who were not the children of the surviving spouse. If there are children who are not the children of the surviving spouse, the spouse and the children split the estate according to a formula.

If there is no surviving spouse, the deceased's children inherit the estate. If a child predeceased the parent, the deceased child's children, if any, inherit the deceased child's portion and so on down the line of children and grandchildren. (Commonly referred to in estate planning as “issue” of the deceased.)

If the deceased had no surviving spouse, no children, grandchildren, or other descendants, the estate passes to the deceased's siblings. If no relatives can be found, the estate escheats, or goes to the state.

Avoid the state's default estate plan by creating your own before it's too late. To be sure your loved ones receive the inheritance you want them to have, contact an experienced Bryan-College Station, Texas estate planning attorney. Likewise, if you are wondering whether a particular will is valid, schedule a meeting so we can discuss the facts of your situation and recommend your next steps. Call us today at 979-703-7014 or fill out our online contact form.

About the Author

Chris Peterson

Chris Peterson is the owner of Peterson Law Group. He practices primarily in the areas of wills, trusts and estate planning; probate and trust administration; elder law; and business law. Chris is also the owner of Brazos 1031 Exchange Company.


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